New York Times - GREG BISHOP - August 2nd 2008
The United States Olympic Committee has a sprawling training center in Colorado Springs, a multimillion dollar facility where hundreds of athletes train. [...] Elite American athletes have gathered here for years in search of the most basic and punishing workout : Man versus Hill.
“It’s the one workout where people truly have to face something that is unbeatable,” the speedskater Apolo Ohno said. “It is you against yourself.” [...]
The trail, known among the athletes as the Incline, gains about 2,000 feet in elevation over the length of about one mile. Olympians call it a beast, a bear and a battle-ax, a source of pride and exhaustion for them.
Some coaches even use the Incline as old-fashioned punishment, like the speedskating coach who found that his athletes had been out drinking the night before an intense workout, then took them to the Incline. They vomited halfway up. [...]
“The mountain is the mountain,” Fretta said. “It doesn’t move. There is no way to cheat.”
And only one way to go: up.