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This year marked the 86th running of the "Race to the Clouds." We travelled to Colorado Springs to produce a series of video podcasts that would capture the buzz of this unique and exciting event.
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) is the second oldest motor sports race in America. This annual automobile and motorcycle hill-climb, also known as The Race to the Clouds, starts at 9,390 feet and ends at the 14,110 foot summit of Pikes Peak in Colorado. The course covers a distance of 12.42 miles on paved and dirt/gravel sections. Racers must negotiate 156 turns -- many of which are lack guard rails -- as they climb nearly 5000 ft to the finish line.
The air density thins as racers approach the summits, slowing both man and machine. The reduced oxygen level robs engines of 30% of their power at the summit, and slows reflexes and strength of the participants.
I spoke with Hall of Famer Eddie Mulder in the first episode of this series. Eddie is one of the most colorful racing legends I've been able to kick back and chat with. Eddie was a leading TT Steeplechase and desert racer of the 1960s, and he's been racing for five decades. We talked about his early days as a dirt racer, his work as a stunt double for Clint Eastwood, and about his uncertainty in racing PPIHC because of altitude-related health problems he experienced last year.