Bahakel Sports: Braving the difficult elements of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — In a perfect combination of thrill and danger, the 99th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb provides an opportunity for professionals and amateurs alike to compete on a global stage.
Originating in 1916 in Colorado Springs, the Race to the Clouds surpasses 12 miles of mountainous terrain, featuring over 150 sharp turns.
“It’s a race that can host all types of cars, which is very unique to Pikes Peak,” said driver Greg Blachon. “You can find Indy cars at Pikes Peak, you can find NASCAR. It’s all mixed up, and it’s whoever can go the fastest.”
Those competing in the race arrive to Pikes Peak a full week before the competition, using that time to get acclimated to the unusual elements.
“It’s high elevation also,” said Blachon. The challenges are the fact that it’s a mountain. The starting line is at 10,000 feet, and it finishes at 14,100.”
Competitors will continue to prepare themselves for race day with different practice and qualifying sessions this week, leading up to Sunday’s official start at 8:00 a.m.