Pikes Peak Sports

Running, Cycling, Hiking and Climbing in the Pikes Peak Region

Ed Baxter climbs Manitou Incline 13 times in 13 hours, 15 minutes

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.

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