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Trail of fears

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Wipeouts popular as runners fly down Mount Falcon

By Brian Forbes

MORRISON — If running up Mount Falcon makes someone crazy, then running down Mount Falcon makes you … um ... even crazier?

“You’re probably not going to win a lot of races on the downhill, but you can definitely lose it, as I almost verified today,” Mark Lowe said Saturday after he won the Mount Falcon trail race.

Lowe won the first race of the Evergreen Park and Rec’s trail series on a beautiful morning with a time of 1 hour, 16 minutes, 27.33 seconds. The 35-year-old Arvada resident, who finished six seconds ahead of second-place P.J. Spina, nearly lost it all when he took a tumble.

Call it a fashionable tumble with a nifty roll, followed by a nice landing worthy of some theme music.

“I did my Chuck Norris dive,” Lowe said.

Remember: When the Bogeyman goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.

Jeff Brennan looked like Chuck Norris attacked him. The Iowan placed fourth with a time of 1:22.08.08, despite taking a nasty spill at the start of the nearly four miles of downhill running.

Brennan was bleeding from both knees, an elbow, shoulder and the palm of his hand. He had road rash just about everywhere else. But he just laughed and shook it off, even after rubbing his wounds with sanitary napkins.

“Challenge,” Brennan said of the race. “It’s really slow going up. It almost shocks you. I stopped twice and walked on the way up.”

Lowe and Spina powered their way to early leads by dominating the steep incline to start the race. From the east Mount Falcon parking lot, the course began at the Castle Trail to the Parmalee Loop, then to Meadow Trail and back down the Castle Trail for a distance of more than nine miles.

“It’s a run that I’m familiar with,” Lowe said. “It’s a beautiful trail. It’s a good trail. It’s got a little bit of everything. It’s not just flat; it’s got its ups and downs … I think I take the Lance Armstrong approach to running: small steps.”

Thirty-three athletes started and finished the race.

The top female time was turned in by Heidi Wild, who ran a time of 1:30.09.11, which was good enough for 15th overall. Laura Anderson was second in the female division — 21st overall — with a time of 1:39.58.30.

Some of the best applause was saved for 12-year-old Kyle Prarie of Elizabeth. Prarie had a great kick to finish the race with a time of 1:39.22.30 and place 20th overall.

The honor of oldest competitor went to 69-year-old Denver resident Jim Romero. Romero placed 25th with a time of 1:50.37.25.