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Bob Stuka after his record dash down the Manitou Incline.

One recent morning atop the Manitou Incline, Bob Stuka did what few would imagine doing. From the top of the vertical set of wooden ties, he shot down full bore.

At the bottom, his Strava tracker showed seven minutes, 18 seconds. That was a record accepted by gatekeepers of the trail's obscure achievements.

"I'm so glad," said Stuka, known as "Crazy Bob" by fellow Incline regulars who just about every day spot him shirtless no matter the elements.

Stuka's time bested the previous downhill mark of seven minutes, 24 seconds set in 2018. For perspective, consider one might take anywhere between a half-hour and hour to carefully, gingerly descend the hair-raising 2,768 steps.

Stuka, an ultra runner, is among a fearless, fleet-footed bunch going against the official recommendation to return via the longer Barr Trail. That recommendation has been posted by Incline-managing city of Colorado Springs.

"It's not a hard rule or law, but we do emphasize safety," Scott Abbott, the city's regional parks, trails and open space manager previously told The Gazette. He added "the majority of issues" happen along the rocky Barr Trail, another running favorite.

Stuka said he picked the right time for his record shot, early morning when the people were few. "Because of course I don't want to hurt anybody or hurt myself," he said.

He did so last year, tumbling on the Incline and resulting in an ankle that "looked like an elephant leg" by his own description. The day before his Incline record, he was running up and down the slopes of Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve — building muscle, he said, and also confidence.

Dashing down the Incline, Stuka said he felt "relaxed" and "concentrated 200%."

He was glad in the end, but not exactly satisfied. He thought he could've been 10 seconds better.

"That's OK," he said. "Motivation to do it another time."

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