Sunday, April 8, 2012

King of the Incline!!

Ok... I just have to share this great article from Tim Bergsten at Pikes Peak Sports.   But before I do, let me quickly share a link to another awesome review and giveaway from Running and Rambling...  click here for a review of New Balance's latest minimal trail shoe and a chance to win!

This weekend was an unofficial "Inclinathon", or a marathon equivalent via the Manitou Incline.  For those of you not familiar yet, that is of course part of one of my favorite trail runs.  2,200 feet elevation gain over 1.1 miles.. up an abandoned incline railway bed...  

Anyway, this week Ed Baxter, 58, of Colorado Springs completed 13 ascent/descents of the Incline in just over 13 hours,  for 26.5 miles and almost 27,000 ft of elevation!!   Simply stunning...    I generally go up it twice a week, with a 4 mile trail run back down, but my best time going up is 43 minutes..  As you'll see below, many of Ed's split times were under 30 minutes!

Here's the article and interview below!

Ed Baxter, 58, of Colorado Springs, completed 13 round trips on the Manitou Incline on Saturday in 13 hours, 15 minutes, becoming the first - and so far, only - finisher of the "Inclinathon."

Baxter climbed a total of 26,143 feet and traveled 26.52 miles, a little longer than a marathon.

With ultra runner Brandon Stapanowich - the event organizer - providing the cowbell, and Incline regular Michael Everson whooping it up like a kid on Christmas morning, Baxter broke through the finish line tape and immediately chugged some water.
"Now I know how to break the tape from now on, just be the only one who shows up," he said.

He began his lonely journey at 3 a.m. on Saturday. Beneath the light of a bright moon - he didn't need a headlamp- he paced himself for the long haul.
He consumed a piece of pizza on each of his first few laps, then dug into peanut butter and jelly and various energy snacks.
Later in the day, when his body began to protest the heavy physical demand, he found a place in the sun and slept for about 45 minutes.
"After I took that nap, everything kind of fell into place again," he said. "I think I wasn't hydrating like I should have."

The Manitou Incline is an abandoned railway bed consisting of railroad ties that form a rugged staircase rising about 1.1 miles and 2,011
 feet. The Incline begins near the Cog Railway station in Manitou Springs.
Though there are no official records for the number of climbs in a day, it is a good bet that Baxter has set the mark. Elite runners and cyclists often struggle to complete one trip up the Incline.

A carpenter by trade, Baxter and his twin brother, Fred, climb the Incline several times a week. Ed's best time on the Incline from bottom to top is 21 minutes, 53 seconds.

Incline veterans will appreciate his Inclinathon split times. They are as follows:
Lap 1 - 27:55, round trip 50:10
Lap 2 - 28:20, 49:43
Lap 3 - 29:50, 49:50
Lap 4 - 27:50 (fastest), 42:29
Lap 5 - 28:05, 42:14
Lap 6 - 28:32, 43:09
Lap 7 - 31:32, 57:07
Lap 8 - 35:02, 58:57
Lap 9 - 40:52 (slept)
Lap 10 - 35:37, 1:01
Lap 11 - 34:29, 58:12
Lap 12 - 33:32, 58:38
Lap 13 - 33:53, 58:47

He was the only entry in the first Inclinathon, a suffer-fest cooked up by Stapanowich. It is an unofficial event that charges no entry fee, but gives away a coconut head trophy to the winner.

More of the Incline's hardcore users, including Stapanowich, are expected to try the Inclinathon next week.

"As much as I would like this to be non-competitive, I know his time will be in the back of my mind," Stapanowich said.

Happy Trails!



  1. omigod i hate you for YOUR time on this, much less his.

    i. am. so. slow.

    1. Trust me. I'm slow too... and I know you could keep up with me.. well, after adjusting to the altitude :-).

  2. I can't believe that he doesn't even look tired. I saw him Saturday when I was up there, he looked good. I am just so impressed! If I can get up and down once in 90 minutes I am happy with that!

  3. Holy cow! Lance Armstrong has nothing on this guy!

  4. What?!?!? I go up that thing once and I am spent! I salute the guy, amazing!! And your time is awesome, too. When I'm in decent shape, which hasn't been for eternity, it takes me about 52 minutes. Like I said on last week's blog, I am not part mountain goat. Haha.

    And definitely, yes, you can enter the giveaway for your mom :). I should have indicated that...but didn't think many would be interested. Haha. So you're in! :)

    Enjoy the nice few days we have before the cold front comes in this weekend. Just in time for my half marathon. bleh.

  5. My husband and I are not regular hikers, and to top it off, we live outside Atlanta. Despite that, we decided to do the Manitou Incline when we visited Colorado last year – on our third day in the state! I wasn't fully adapted to the altitude and we didn't take enough water (I only had one bottle, while my husband refused to carry any). But we did it! It took three hours, but we did it

  6. Sorry, posting is glitchy on my iPad.

    I am completely impressed by those of y'all who do the incline regularly. I intend to do it again, next time in a decent time period and with enough water. :) I wore my Zemgear minimalist shoes last time; maybe by the time I return I'll be up to wearing my Xero Shoes!

    Thanks again for keeping me inspired.


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