Today the weather was warm, and the Front Range was clear of snow & ice. It was the perfect time to explore a local rite of passage: Manitou Incline in Colorado Springs. Built on the spot where an old railroad track used to be, the Incline is a brutal 2k climb on stairs made from old rail road ties. It’s a local rite of passage, and runners often do laps, climbing up the stairs and down the 3.5mi gentler Barr Trail. Due to the trail’s popularity and the smallness of the town, all visitors are required to park at a public lot a couple of miles away and take the free shuttle provided by the town to the start.
I don’t know what appealed to me the most – the challenge of the endless stairs, or the people watching. Getting up about halfway and looking back down, I could see a sea of brightly colored spandex. Running up past runners and walkers and fit families and not-so-fit tourists, I reached the top in 35min. Coming down was even more fun, running full blast and dodging hikers like bowling pins left and right, I think I even set a new PR on some stretches of the downhill trail. While the uphill trek had provided aerial views of Manitou Springs and beyond, the way down presented me with views of Pike’s Peak, which is on my to-do list for later this summer.