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From Manitou Incline to Empire State Building

COLORADO SPRINGS – Two Colorado Springs residents who have spent years training on the Manitou Incline are once again joining racers from across the country to race up the Empire State Building.

Steve Stermer and Mark Ewell, regulars on the steep slopes of the infamous climb say that the incline is perfect practice, since it’s much longer and deals with higher elevations than the Empire State Building Run-Up.

The race, one of the oldest and more well known venues for the sport of stair or tower racing, is something every person in the sport wants to be a part of.

“When you get the chance, you don’t turn it down,” stated Mark.

During the Tuesday race, competitors raced up 86 floors consisting of 1,576 steps.

“It’s almost, just about half an incline,” stated Stermer.

The real challenge, according to both racers, is the pacing, “Your goal is to finish and spend every last dime that you have,” commented Mark.

“You’ll see carnage at the top of these climbs of just people lying on the floor, gasping for air that have spent every last ounce of energy that they had to get there,” He continued.

Both competitors, once finished racing up the famous building and travelling home, plan to go right back to regularly climbing the incline.

RELATED: 360° Perspective: History of the Incline

Jon McMichael

Jon McMichael

Jon McMichael is the digital reporter for KOAA. He's been with the station since October 2017.
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