Cheers with Long Ears

Sun January 1, 2023 Fort McDowell, AZ 85264 US Directions


163000 McDowell Mountain Park Drive
Fort McDowell, AZ US 85264


Say "HEEHAW" to 2023 with Cheers with Long Ears!  Please join us for the second annual Cheers with Long Ears on Sunday, January 1, 2023!  Come enjoy the scenic views and well maintained trails at McDowell Mountain Regional Park, nestled in the lower Verde River basin.  The 21,099 acre park is a desert jewel in the northeast Valley.  $7 to enter the park.  Coffee and pastries available for purchase on site by Tumbleweed Coffee Co.

This race is open to donkey teams and solo runners!  No dogs allowed for this race.  Race registration will close at 75 participants.  

SOLO RUNNERS                                                                                                                                                                   

Will start first.  Please use proper trail etiquette by announcing your intent to pass on the left or right of a donkey team.  No dogs on the course.  

DONKEY TEAMS                               

Runner must have personal donkey or have made arrangements for a donkey to register as a "Donkey Team," 1 person + 1 donkey.  No other equine permitted.  No riding allowed- this is an in hand trail race with a donkey.  Donkeys shall be in good health and sound condition to participate.  Mistreatment of donkeys will result in disqualification and being banned from future donkey races.

To register your donkey teammate for the event, a participant must select "Create a Donkey Team."  Create a password.  Once a runner has done so, they may register under the donkey's name as their "Team."  Runners will not be able to add a donkey if they do not have a password.  If a runner needs to switch donkeys prior to the event or needs to add their donkey's name to their team, please contact the race director for assistance.  


This is a TEAM race with a runner and donkey.  Teams starting the race must remain a team throughout the race connected with a lead rope no longer than 15 feet.  DONKEY EXCHANGING NOT ALLOWED WHILE ON THE COURSE.  If runner becomes separated from their donkey, (runner and donkey are no longer racing as a connected team) 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, friends, or solo runners.  Doing so may result in disqualification.  Registered donkey team runners may support and assist other donkey teams while on the course.  The proper donkey race etiquette is to ask before assisting another team.  The winning combination consists of the runner and donkey team to cross the finish line. The runner may be leading or following the donkey. The donkey's nose crossing the finish line first constitutes the winner.


There are 2 distances:                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

4.5 mile intro- pack saddle not required                                                                                                                                                                                         

10.5 mile long- pack saddle and traditional mining gear of gold pan, pick, and shovel required.  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.  

4.5 mile intro- Run through lowlands and then a gentle 357 ft gradual climb up to the ridgeline.

10.5 mile long- Gradual climbs and descends into the basin.  There is a small portion of running in a wash.  

Water will be available for both courses.  


Top male and female solo runners and donkey teams will be recognized for 4.4 mile and 10.4 mile courses. 

Top three juniors will be recognized.                                                                                   

All participants will receive a finisher prize.  

PACKET PICKUP                   

5:00 pm Saturday, December 31, 2022 (stay for the S'Mores Social) 

8:00 am Saturday, January 1, 2023                                                                                                                                          


Four Peaks Camping Equine Staging Area

$22 per night for dry camping.  There are restrooms and water.  Lots of room to park large rigs and to set up a tent.  Quiet hours are 10 pm-6 am.  Dogs ok at camp area as long as they are leashed.   

WITHDRAWAL POLICY                                                                                                                                                                                                     


Race Contact Info

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