"The Incline"

In Teams of 2 Alternate or Complete Individually For Time:

250m Row and 200m Run
500m Row and 400m Run
1000m Row and 800m Run
500m Row and 400m Run
250m Row and 200m Run


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What is “The Incline“?

The Incline Trail

Up A Mountain, Olympic Dreams are Carved” NY Times



I’ll try to answer that question here. In short? It’s a WOD, a benchmark even. It’s 1000 barbell front squats for time. At altitude. Epic suckfest. It’s a test more of your mind than your body, as willing yourself to keep climbing is the tedious part. This afternoon I accompanied good friends Derek, Mike, and Kristen from CrossFit Morristown/ CrossFit Bernardsville up “The Incline” in Manitou Springs, CO. It’s a very visible, very steep trail cut straight up a small mountain. It gains 2000 ft. in elevation in 1 mile. It is a series of stairs made mostly from railroad ties but also rocks, dirt, and even metal piping. It is hard. Oh and did I mention steep?

I was initially under the illusion this was a run. Having read the story above about Olympians training on it I was seriously interested. Constantly varied right? As we drove over late this afternoon Mike pointed out the ‘scar” in the forrest on the small mountain in the Rocky foothills. As it snapped into view I instantly said something to the effect of “Are you f’ing kidding me?” From that point until we found parking at the trailhead the conversation drifted from a half inspired pep talk of doing the mountain to “what coffee shop is nearby to go to instead”. Running out of excuses we finally found parking and headed out. After a few words of warning from some locals we were ready to get this over with. Looking up the endless set of stairs going practically straight up the mountain we could make out lots of people all plodding away up the slope.

We started our watches and one by one started running. Shuffling along, stair after stair I ran. Maybe 3 minutes in I thought, wow it’s kinda hard to breathe. At around the 4 minute mark I thought, “my heart might explode. WTF!” Feeling like I was completing “Fran” in my lungs and with my head starting to get dizzy I quickly looked up and saw that our group also stopped running at the same point. We all began walking basically in a file up the stairs. We walked, climbed, scrambled, pulled with our arms and went up, up, up. Every time someone would stop to catch their breath the threat of being passed or getting behind made us go again. After reaching the false summit we were warned about we picked up the pace (if you can call it that) and tried to push through to the end.  

Almost There

After 40 minutes (40:44 for me) we were all done. Not bad considering 50 min. plus is expected for people not from here. Standing atop the mountain we could see all of Colorado Springs in a beautiful view. After a brief stay and a handstand or two, we all ran the 4 mile Barr Trail back down. Great experience, great challenge, and great memory. Despite the pain our quads and glutes endured, it was well worth it. What’s for tomorrow?

Awesomeness Achieved: