Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Going Downhill.(Sports)

Byline: Will Webber Journal Staff Writer

Shovel races at Angel Fire get people moving in a variety of ways

ANGEL FIRE Mark Bradford had finally bolted down the fiberglass canopy on his girlfriend's sled when he knelt on one knee and passed along some pertinent advice.

"Hey, just relax. Stay calm and try to keep the thing as steady as you can," he said. "You'll be all right as long as you don't hit the brakes or try to steer too much."

With every inch of her body strapped horizontally with anything from recycled seat belts to bungee cords and bits of rope, all Elizabeth Lenningham could do was smile and shout a muffled response from inside the craft. Her crash helmet securely fastened, she could barely move her hands more than a few inches.

Bradford got out his last-second instructions as he and members of the Angel Fire Resort ski patrol pushed Lenningham's 500-pound sled into position at the top of the run and let go.

"Oh, and remember, whatever you do, don't touch any of the buttons on the way down," he said, "because they'll only throw you off course."

Thirteen seconds later, Lenningham's machine deployed a pair of small orange parachutes as it hissed across the finish line at the bottom of the hill. …

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