Posted by: DCox | August 6, 2009

I’m Inclined…summertime in Colorado Springs

Incline at half way pointThis week I posted on my facebook page that I was running the Incline that morning. That’s one of the fun things I do in summertime, summertime, sum, sum, summertime, summertime in Colorado. The trail of stairs rises about 2000 feet in just over one mile – starting in Manitou Springs at 6600 ft and climbing from there. So it’s really a misnomer to say that I run; however it is a fast paced climb with an average slope of 40% and portions at 70%. Matt Carpenter, the local ultradistance running guru has actually run the incline in 18 minutes and some seconds. My best is closer to 40 minutes. Decent time, yet I’d love to really be able to say I run the trail.

Selected portions of an article in the Colorado Springs Gazette…
Long slog to legalizing Incline begins!
March 18th, 2009, 5:59 am · posted by Dave Philipps

incline-postcard1The Manitou Incline is the toughest, most-touted and most-trespassed trail in the region, and now it is officially on its way to becoming legal, too.

…the steep jumble of 2,744 old railroad ties

The Incline was never meant to be a trail. It began, just over a century ago as tracks for a work train used to install a pipeline. Then for decades it acted as a tourist attraction whisking riders 1,900 feet up a steep mountainside.

When the tourist train was scrapped in 1990 the abandoned ties became a cult workout of a few mountain runners. Slowly word spread. Today on a nice summer day it can attract over 1,000 people, making it one of the most popular trails in the region.

It has been written up in the New York Times and Sports Illustrated.

The stairs are a regular regimen for everyone from stay-at-home moms to Olympic athletes to soldiers getting in shape to return to Iraq.

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