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3 AM ALARMS AND THE SMELL OF RACE FUEL: Pike's Peak International Hill Climb

I am very stoked after a great week in Colorado at the 102nd Pike's Peak International Hill Climb event. I was invited by my good buddy, Nick Cahill, to come out and help shoot some bts and photos for the number 178, Tom Tang and his BMW M3.

It was a long week of early alarms to make to make it up to the mountain for practice but the experience was well worth it. The reason for needing to be up so early is because Pike's Peak opens to the public at 8:30 am and all competitors need to be done practicing by 8:30 to allow two way traffic up and down the mountain. They break the mountain into 3 sections for the practice days so everyone racing gets ample practice time in each section. We started at the top the first day and then moved to the bottom the following day before the weather moved in canceling the following day which would have been the legendary middle section. Unfortunately, after the weather day, we woke up to very foggy conditions and as we drove up the mountain we were welcomed with rain, high winds, and very low visibility. The drivers did a very slow practice run that day as the conditions didn't allow and every rookie driver must get practice in at least once in each of the sections.

Finally, race day arrived which meant a 2 am alarm to get up to the mountain for staging. We stuck to the pits and the lower section of the course since the only movement up the course was by walking, otherwise, you're stuck were you park. Those that were up higher on the mountain were landlocked up there all day, typically from midnight to after the race finishes around 6 PM this year.

You can view the live stream from the entire event here. Enjoy some more photos from the lower section.

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