It's old school, and it hurts, leaving world-caliber athletes grovelling at its unrelenting grade. It's the short, steep climb near the Olympic training center in Colorado Springs called the Incline. Olympic athletes from skaters to wrestlers to triathletes tackle the one mile, 2,000 foot climb to test their fitness and mental mettle, with some coming away with failing grades.
Of those who excel on the steep pitch, triathlete Mark Fretta holds the unofficial record of 16:42. Many others fair less well, blowing up before the top and getting passed by those many decades their senior.
Some links to Incline history, facts, and lore:
- Up a Mountain, Olympic Dreams are Carved (NY Times)
- Manitou Incline (YouTube)
- Incline Club
- Manitou and Pike Peak Railway (Wikipedia)
- Manitou Incline Busy Season Has Begun (Ultra Rob's Adventures)
(photo by cpt.spock used under Creative Commons)