Pack Animal Magazine

The RMLA Fairplay Pack/Walk Llama Race on Saturday, July 27, 2013

by Gary Carlton (Summer 2013)

On the third Saturday in July, the town of Fairplay, Colorado will once again become the backdrop and site of the RMLA Fairplay Pack/Walk Llama Race, the 31st running of this annual event. Some of you may be thinking that it has been a while since you have made the trip up for this race. A few others might have entertained the thought of coming up every year but have just never quite found the time to work it into your busy schedule. So let’s make 2013 the year that everyone shows up to become a part of this race.

For those of you wanting to build your own pack string or improve on the ability of the llamas you already have, Fairplay is the place for you to take your animals to that next level. Every farm that shows up for this weekend is a wealth of backcountry knowledge. I have watched a good number of folks make the progression from backcountry novices to very confident packers from what they have learned in Fairplay, and everyone benefits from the contacts and friendships that have been built here.

The town of Fairplay offers up a big festival environment during the Burro Days weekend, with eighty-plus vendors, live entertainment, dances, food, fun and several other things to keep you busy. Llama Camp, located in the National Forest along Beaver Creek, offers a relaxing and quiet place where llamas, competitors, volunteers and a good number of visitors gather to chat, relax, camp and enjoy the Colorado outdoors. Our annual pot luck dinner is served in camp around six on Friday evening, so bring a friend, a side dish and your favorite folding chair and join us for dinner.

Our three-mile race course, set up below the town of Fairplay and along the scenic Platte River Valley, features many of the situations one may encounter while out on the trail with a llama. Our event staff will be placed along the course for your safety and to assist anyone who may be in need of some help.

Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind chance to have a great day with a llama! Oh, and don’t forget your camera!