South Fork Alder Ass Race

86 Co Rd 15
South Fork, CO 81154

Running > 5k

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Event Description

Join us for the inaugural South Fork Alder Ass Race hosted by the South Fork Friends Foundation on Saturday, September 3, 2022!

Runner must have personal burro or have made arrangements to borrow a burro. 

Runners cannot participate in this race without a burro (no other equine permitted)- this is a burro race.  Solo runners are NOT allowed to participate.  No riding allowed- this is an in hand trail race with a burro.  Burros shall be in good health and sound condition.  Any runner mistreating their burro will be disqualified.  


Each burro must be equipped with a pack saddle carrying traditional mining gear of gold pan, pick, and shovel for the 8 mile & 19.25 mile courses.  Items may be carried inside saddle bags or may be attached and displayed to pack saddle.  Traditional mining gear may be checked at finish line.  There shall be no minimum weight requirement for burros to carry.

This is a TEAM race with one runner and one burro making a team.  Teams starting the race must remain a team throughout the race connected with a lead rope no longer than 15 feet.  BURRO EXCHANGING DURING THE RACE IS NOT ALLOWED.  If the runner becomes separated from their burro, (runner and burro are no longer racing as a connected team, e.g.- dropped lead rope) the team must return to the place they became separated before continuing the race. Failure to return to the point of separation WILL result in disqualification. Teams cannot receive outside assistance from spectators, family, or friends.  Doing so may result in disqualification.  Registered runners may support and assist other teams while on the course.  The proper race etiquette is to ask before assisting another team. The winning combination consists of the burro and runner team to cross the finish line. The runner may be leading or following the burro. The burro's nose crossing the finish line first constitutes the winner.

The majority of the course is located on National Forest.  

There are 3 distances.  

The intro course is 3 miles.  Pack saddles, gold pan, pick, and shovel are optional for this distance.  The majority of this course is on pavement for an out and back route.  

The short course is 8.5 miles.  Boots or alternative hoof protection is recommended, but not mandatory. 

Max elevation- 8703

The long course is 20.25 miles- this course is for highly adventurous, experienced pack burro racing teams only!  Please do not attempt this course if you have any knee or ankle issues.  This course is challenging, rocky, with exposed tree roots, and will include water crossings.  Half the course should be runnable for most.  Boots or alternative hoof protection is HIGHLY recommended, but not mandatory. The 2022 Leadville short course had an elevation gain of 2283 ft.  South Fork's elevation gain is 2883 ft.  

Max Elevation- 10,915

Aid Stations:

Aid Station 1- mile 4

Aid Station 2- mile 10

Aid Station 3 WATER ONLY- mile 14

Aid Station 4 WATER ONLY- mile 17


Trophies for top three female and male finishers in the 3 mile.  

Prize money and trophies awarded to top three female and male finishers in the 8.5 mile and 20.25 mile distances.  The base purse is listed below, purse may increase.  

Long Course:    

1st- $500

2nd- $250

3rd- $150

Short Course:

1st- $250

2nd- $125

3rd- $75



Free camping at the start/finish.  Stay and play in South Fork by the Rio Grande River at Brown Memorial Park.  86 Co Rd 15, South Fork, CO.

BYOP- Bring Your Own Panels.  Water is available on site.                           

Photo Credit:  Linda Drain, Casandra Perez, & Amber Wann                            

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