WARNING, there are lots of Ass pictures in this post.
Five years ago when I was in Leadville to do the 100 mile mountain bike race I first saw the burro races. I have never laughed so hard. I've always known it was something I wanted to try. SO, when my friend Paige told me how to 'rent' a burro I got on board. I decided I wanted to race a mini ass, cause what girl doesn't want to hear 'cute ass' all day long as she runs by. Thanks so much to Brad Wann and the Laughing Valley Ranch I was partnered with the Little Jacob. He won my heart instantly! I've always known I loved Jackasses.
Pre Race Meet and Greet- Kiss My Ass
Luckily for me, Brad arranged a little practice session the day before the Big Ass day and Jacob and I got to do some bonding. That practice was invaluable. I learned so many little tips in that short period of time. I watched the 'pros' working their burros and I soaked up all the information I could. I also got tips from my very good friend Cathy and her mini ass Miguel. NOT to mention a special Donkey Balls package from them, AWESOME!! (yes I was told this weekend that I am a teenage boy trapped in a mid 40's woman's body). Two days later I've been told the Ass jokes have to stop now:(
Jacob, the cutest little ass EVER!!
After the practice I went home with some apprehension. Really, I was doing a race but Jacob was the one who would dictate the race plan. There was no doing anything if the ass said no. I had a pretty poor ass sleep......When I got to the corral in the morning I felt better, Jacob walked right up to me, he knew I was his runner- or he thought I had carrots.... Saddling him up I got a little concerned. Seemed Jacob may have been out on the town drinking beer the night before the big event. He was very bloated. Thought we talked about this buddy, whiskey only. Got the saddle on with no problem, the little sweet ass stood calmly and was making friends with everyone. Decided if you are running with a pack animal they should 'pack', so put my water and some food and some grain in the pack. Now I needed to test it out to see how it went. Jacob and I went for a jog. Well, that was the plan. Jacob must be very smart because when he saw the stop sign he stopped dead.
Paige and Dakota meet Jacob
We were in the middle of an intersection and he wasn't going anywhere. People in their cars were laughing so hard. I was trying everything but stubborn as a mule comes from somewhere. It was a stubborn off and guess who won? That's right, you don't get to be a Leadwoman without being more stubborn than an ass!
Our pre race warm up check out the equipment 'jog'
In our practice I had noticed that Jacob liked to run behind big asses and drive their speed up. I knew that our pre race jog wasn't indicative of the race. I also was very concerned about how fast the start would be. I had told Jacob we were closers but like the no binge drinking, he might have forgotten the plan.
Point of Maximum Dread at starting line- what the hell am I doing?
Luckily, Paige and I had a plan to stay calm and when the gun went off talk to our asses until we were ready to go. Amazingly, the boys partook in the plan and we had a perfect start. We set off jogging behind all the big fast asses. We kept a nice steady clip and got to the first hill, which is almost right away and is 3 miles long.
Surprisingly smooth start, Paige and I were together and I ended up running behind the girls in the bottom all the way home from the top of the mountain.
Jacob got behind a nice ass and kept him going up the hill. He would walk at a snails pace and then we would get jogging again until he was up the other asses ass. Before I knew it we had worked our way past some of the men's teams who had started 15 Min's ahead of us. (their course was 22 miles compared to our 15). We had a nice system going and Jacob kept forward progress. He wasn't fast but he was going forwards for which I am very grateful. He did slow occasionally but after a few times I learned he had some farting to do. That bloated belly was getting smaller. Hey, I can relate. At the first checkpoint we saw Wade and he looked pretty surprised by where that little ass and I were in the field. I couldn't stop to visit because once in motion stay in motion!
showing my boyfriend what's in store for him
Being a virgin ass racer I really didn't know much about strategy. The wise and experienced Ken Chlouber had told me before the race regarding a plan, 'everyone has a plan until they are punched in the mouth'. It was a matter of strategy's on the fly. Jacob would trot along as long as he had a burro in front of him. The little guy likes to drive the big asses along. Therefore, all attempts to pass the ass in front were futile. When we saw some other asses up ahead I began my planning. We could gain on them until Jacob saw them and then he could get up behind them and drive them. Believe it or not, it worked. We got off the single track section on Ball mountain and passed the burro we'd been with and passed the new two. Then when a gap formed we settled in behind the new ones, there was no way he would lead. Maybe he has respect for the big boys? This ended up being our pack the rest of the way. We stayed behind them and when they got running Jacobs little legs were motoring. There were times I had to 'help' him along. Hauling ass took on a whole new meaning.
One of my biggest pre race fears was if I was lucky enough to get in sight of the finish line my ass would stop. I've seen it many times and sadly it happened to my friend Paige. I knew that Jacob would chase as long as he had something to chase. Therefore, when we got onto Harrison I had him walk for a bit for the big boys to get a gap on him. We then started running and he had his sights on the target and kept it up right across the line. I was so proud of him. He placed 7th out of 24 in the women's race. BUT mostly importantly, he was the first mini burro. Those little legs could move.
Jacob must have taken in some of what I said. He closed perfectly! I'd like to say it was my skills but I just got lucky and got a burro who worked well with me on that day. Would I have liked it if he was willing to pass and run on his own, sure but he wasn't so we did it his way. It was the most fun I've ever had in a race and he was the cutest ass I've ever had the pleasure to run with.
Burro Race finishers, first mini ass across the line and in the prize money!!!
At the finish line you'd have thought Jacob won the race by the crowds that surrounded us. Seems that everyone has a soft spot for a little jackass:) I was just happy I got my ass across the line.