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World record holder for Manitou Incline accused of physically, verbally threatening her rival


MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- One of the Manitou Incline women world record holders is accused of threatening and harassing a fellow competitor.

Noelia Sanchez moved to Colorado Springs four years ago. But before that, she would make the trek from Texas at least once a year to hike the Incline. Since moving here, she’s become more obsessed.

In October, she decided to try and finish the 500 challenge — 500 laps on the Manitou Incline within one year. But she wanted to finish sooner than a year, hiking up the trail sometimes five times a day.

Chasidey Geissler is the most recent women’s world record holder for the fastest time to complete the 500 (129 days) and 1,000 laps (311 days), doing both in the last year. Although Sanchez threatened Geissler’s record, she said she only took up the challenge for fun, not to break records.

“Anyone here that got to know me a little bit knew that I was only here to have a good time, just for fun and enjoy myself,” Sanchez said.

As she started to take on the challenge, she claims she received unwanted attention from Geissler. At first, Sanchez said it was constant questions about her pace and how many times she was planning on climbing the incline that day. Then she said Geissler wanted to be friends on social media and communicated with her often, but Sanchez said she didn’t want that.

“From the beginning,” Sanchez explained, “it seemed like it was continuous questions of why are you doing so many and how come you were here for this long?”

But then the situation worsened.

In court documents, Sanchez alleges Geissler verbally and physically harassed her multiple times. In February, Sanchez says Geissler and her husband bumped into her while on the Incline and yelled at her.

About three weeks later, Sanchez alleges in court documents Geissler yelled in her face saying she wants to “break my [explicit] neck” and she should watch her back. During the same hike, near the top of the Incline, Sanchez said Geissler came from out of the bushes and bumped her in the back. Sanchez also said Geissler has stalked her along the local Manitou Springs trails.

“She would block me coming up the trail, coming down the trail. She was waiting for me. Then it became more aggressive and more aggressive,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez said she believes Geissler's behavior has more to do with her latino ethnicity more so than her breaking any records.

"I don't think she thinks I deserve to be here,” she said.

Noelia first went to the club’s president, as members are required to sign a code of conduct to join saying they won’t harass or discriminate against other members. The president mediated a mutual agreement that the two wouldn’t have contact.

However, Sanchez claims Geissler continued to harass her. She decided to file a complaint for a restraining order because she was “scared for (her) life and (her) safety.”

13 Investigates reached out to Geissler and her attorney multiple times for comment but didn’t hear back.

However, serving the world record holder with papers proved to be difficult. Video shows Geissler running away from being served legal documents while on the Manitou Incline.

"Chasidey you are being served with this El Paso County restraining order, protecting Noelia Sanchez for your actions of aggravated stalking," the server said to Geissler as she runs down the Incline.

Trevor Becker, the trail maintenance director for the Incline Friends nonprofit organization, said this isn't the first time elite athletes have been in a dispute. But he said they have a responsibility to be role models to the larger hiking community.

"We have an obligation to represent the Manitou Incline in a positive light to the world," Becker said. "We each have a lot of influence and we need to not take that lightly."

Sanchez echoed that sentiment. She said the alleged behavior from Geissler is an isolated incident and that the rest of the elite hikers have been nothing but supportive.

"This behavior from Chasidey does not represent the community at all," Sanchez said. "This is not who we are. This is not who they are. This is one person."

On Monday, a judge extended the temporary restraining order. Sanchez said a mediation is scheduled for next week. The only outcome she wants is to be able to hike the Incline in peace.

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Quinn Ritzdorf

Quinn is a reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about him here.


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