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Ascent organizers prepare for both hikers and runners

Race Organizers Prepare for the Busy Weekend

MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. - Despite race organizers' request to close it for the big race, the city is keeping the Incline open this weekend. On the last days you can hike before the four month closure. 

As Ascent and marathon runners go up, "Incliners" will be flying down.

It's causing more work and more man power for the Pikes Peak Marathon organization.

"Yes, there is of course some frustration," said Ron Ilgen, president of the organization.  

A bigger search and rescue team and more volunteers will be needed this weekend. They're expecting some chaos on the already thin Barr Trail.

"It is causing some stress on their staffing but they will be aware for the need of increased coverage," said Ilgen.  

Although it's their last chance, everyone is asking hikers to avoid the Incline this weekend.

"We didn't want to be in the craziness of this weekend so we picked today to get it done. The runners they've worked so hard, they're trying their best to get their best time, it's dangerous," said Incline hiker, Esther Sollee.

Eddie Northcutt from Texas was at Barr Trail on Wednesday training for the run. Before we spoke with him, he didn't even know that this weekend was the last chance for hikers to get up the Incline.

"People will give-way to runners, so as long as you have that courtesy, I don't think it will be a problem. Life is full of 'oops' moments, so maybe in the future they should close the Incline.It is what it is and we'll deal with it," said Northcutt.  

Again, organizers are asking last minute hikers to go no later than Friday.


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