Exclusive: How Katie Ericson Conquered Colorado’s Manitou Incline

This month, our dedicated charity supporter Katie Ericson did something amazing. In celebration of her milestone 40th birthday, Katie challenged 40 people to sponsor her $40 to tackle the Manitou Incline. Manitou is a monster climb found in Colorado, USA. With its highest point sitting at 8,590 feet, the climb takes more than strong will and a good pair of trainers (or sneakers)!

We caught up with Katie after her climb to hear more about the challenge and what motivated her to dominate the challenge.

Hey Katie, please can you introduce yourself our TCF followers?
Hello everyone! I’m currently a PhD student in special education at the University of Nebraska, as well as a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI) and Orientation and Mobility Specialist (or Mobility Officer). I came to know TCF when Alex and Dan travelled to Japan (where I worked at the time) to introduce VI rugby. 

Can you tell us about your recent challenge?
I recently climbed the Manitou Incline in Manitou Springs, Colorado, USA. The Incline consists of 2.768 stairs that ascend almost a mile vertically, and it’s comparable to climbing the Eiffel Tower twice. I first learned about the Manitou Incline after reading about Rachel Jones, who recently became the first woman to climb the Incline 1,000 times in one year. I read more about the Incline, and I knew it was something I wanted to do. 

What motivated you to do the challenge?
I turned 40 on Saturday, and I wanted to do something meaningful to celebrate. I knew I wanted to raise money for TCF and their amazing programming, and the Manitou Incline seemed like the perfect challenge. 

What would you say to someone thinking of doing their own charity challenge?
For someone thinking of taking on their own charity challenge–go for it! It’s an amazing experience. If possible, choose something that is personally meaningful yet challenging, and find people who will support you in that challenge (beyond just donations). My husband, Steven, provided valuable input on my social media posts (and acted as my photographer/videographer), and he kept me motivated during the challenge. 

Will you be following the VI Rugby World Cup in October?
I’m definitely looking forward to following the VI Rugby World Cup in October! (I was incredibly excited to finish my climb on Monday and see the squad announcements on Instagram.)

Thank you Katie for generously donating your charity challenge to TCF and supporting the young people that rely on our programmes. We look forward to celebrating in person very soon!

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