Bart Yasso and Taco Bell Participated in the Funniest Race I’ve Ever Heard Of!

While I was at Burning Man last month I took time out to read Bart Yasso’s book, “My Life on the Run.

I don’t follow Bart as closely as some runners do so I was pleasantly surprised by how funny he is!

In his book Bart recounts tales of several of his most interesting races including the Bare Buns Fun Run 5K which takes place at a nudist colony (yes, he ran completely nude!) and a 10K where he runs attached to an angry burro (a small donkey) named Taco Bell.

Bart Yasso with his burro, Taco Bell

(Image Credit: Bart Yasso / “My Life on the Run” p. 112)

Burro Racing is by far my favorite chapter of the entire book. I think I laughed from beginning to end!

Did you know burros can run a 3-minute mile?!

As Bart mentions in the book, “Burro racing is the only sport indigenous to Colorado.”

Apparently,  “Legend has it that in the 1880s, two competing miners discovered gold in the sma place and raced to the courthouse to file their claim first. Because burros carried supplies, the minors were forced to run, leading the animals with a rope.”

burro racing

(Image Credit:

And that is exactly how burro running goes today. Each runner has to remain tied to his burro partner for the duration of the race – which can be difficult for the human runner as burros can accelerate quickly and can easily punch out a 3-minute mile! WHOA.

“You’re the fastest and cutest burro in the race!”

At the halfway point of the 10K, after starting out at a sub 6-minute per mile pace, Taco Bell decided he didn’t want to run anymore and wouldn’t move.

Prior to the race, Taco Bell’s owner had told Bart that the best burro racers know their animal partners so well it’s like a marriage, so naturally Bart tried to sweet talk Taco Bell into running again.

“You’re the fastest and cutest burro in the race!”

“The saddle is slimming”

“What? No, your ass isn’t big!”

“I can’t wait for your mother to visit!”

Seriously, at this point Bart goes on with the compliments and I nearly fell over laughing!

I think the $10 I spent on the Kindle edition of the book was worth it for this chapter alone – although the other chapters are also very good.

I learned, for instance, that Bart ran the Badwater ultramarathon which consisted at that time of 146 miles right through Death Valley (today it’s “only” 135 miles).

I had no idea that Bart had ever competed in an ultra which made him 100% more interesting to me as most of my favorite runners are ultra runners (Scott Jurek, Ann Trason, Timothy Olson).

If you’re looking for a great, quick read and love running I would definitely recommend buying “My Life on the Run.” Bart seems like a pretty cool dude!


  1. Ali @ Hit the Ground Running
    September 22, 2013 / 10:51 pm

    I’ll need to check this one out!! Yasso always seems to down-to-earth, kind, and open. I know he’s a favorite of a lot of bloggers, and he likes to meet new people at races and bond with them, which is awesome.

    • September 23, 2013 / 2:35 am

      The first part of the book talks about how Bart got into running and how it helped him deal with his addictions, the meat of the book recounts some of his more interesting races and it ends with lots of training tips along with his recommendations for races at different lengths. It’s a really good, quick read!