Video: The Allure of the Manitou Incline

The Manitou Incline is the steepest running trail in Colorado, probably in the U.S. and maybe in the world. This unique training element along the lower flanks of Pikes Peak in the equally unique mountain hamlet of Manitou Springs, Colo., is an enormous challenge for any runner (or hiker), as it rises more than 2,000 vertical feet in less than a mile. Mountain running legend Matt Carpenter has run the fastest known time (FKT) on the Incline (18:31), although other unverified and unsubstantiated faster times have been reported. Ali McLaughlin, a member of the 2014 U.S. Mountain Running Team, owns the fastest women’s time (20:07).

In this video, we profile this one-of-a-kind trail with sweeping views and a ridiculous steep grade (up to 68 percent in some places!) and follow along as 2015 Pikes Peak Marathon runner-up Andy Wacker goes all-out in an attempt to set a new record.

PHOTOS: The Relentlessly Steep Manitou Incline

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