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4 Miles in the Forest a success

On June 19, 150 people participated in the Black Forest Fire and Rescue Protection Districtís inaugural 4 Miles in the Forest run/walk in Black Forest. Gary Watson, public information officer for BFFR, said they had anticipated only 50 to 75 runners and walkers, and they eventually had to close registration because of issues like parking.However, Watson said parking was not as problematic as they had expected ó many runners carpooled to the location at Black Forest Section 16 Open Space, on Burgess Road. The trail is 4 miles of easy hills and flat areas, with occasional views of Pikes Peak. Several firefighters from BFFR joined the race, some running in full gear.Randy and Shannon Bowen of Bowen Pottery in Black Forest donated several pieces to the race event as prizes for winners in the various divisions. Melanie Brim, winner of the overall female division and the 40-49 age category, said the pottery was a great surprise and prize. Brim’s daughter, Madison Brim, also won a piece of pottery for finishing first in the girls 1-18 division.The R&R Coffee Cafe stayed open later than usual, since the race began at 6 p.m., and offered a special menu of barbecue and other specialty food items for the participants and others involved in the race. ìWe had a lot of fun; I had a blast serving the firefighters, and we had a lot of people,î said Ryan Wanner, owner of the R&R. ìWe thought about wrapping it up around 8, but the last people came off the trail at 8:30, and we stayed open until they were in and fed.îAlyssa McClurg, volunteer firefighter with BFFR, organized the race. McClurg, who has been with the department about a year, said she had presented the idea to the chief and he supported it. Inundated with positive responses and about three times the number of registrants they had expected, McClurg said the department wants to make this an annual event.Watson said funds raised will go toward purchasing wildland firefighting gear. ìIt’s gear they will use individually and also for some of the wildland and firefighter uniforms,î he said.The inaugural race was successful. ìI’d say we really didn’t have any problems,î Watson said. ìIt came off well; no one was injured; people enjoyed it; and the weather was great.î

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