The air is crisp at the top of the mountain. It is two o’clock in the morning and I am at 14,000 feet of elevation. Despite the long hours of preparation in the cold, biting wind, I am wide awake. Just yesterday I was sitting in a conference room with other El Pomar interns, and today I am sleeping in my car on Pikes Peak in order to get ready for tomorrow morning’s race.
The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC), also known as “The Race to the Clouds,” is an annual invitational automobile and motorcycle hill climb to the summit of Pikes Peak. Founded in 1916 by Spencer Penrose, The Broadmoor PPIHC takes place on a 12.42 mile public toll-road and boasts 156 turns. In minutes, competitors climb 4,720 vertical feet to the 14,115 foot finish line at the mountain’s summit.
The Hill Climb welcomes competitors from all over the globe, and it was an incredible experience for me to see the time and preparation that it takes to execute such an event. Working as the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation intern gave me the opportunity to watch Romain Dumas, one of the best drivers in the world, crush the previous course record by an incredible 16 seconds. He zoomed past me in his electric VW car at the starting line and was around the corner in a flash.
Working for The Sports Corp also gave me the opportunity to help plan the Pikes Peak Airstrip Attack, and an even bigger event, The Rocky Mountain State Games. I contacted sponsors, organized event set up, and on some weekends, worked continuously to make sure I positively contributed to the team. I am grateful to El Pomar Foundation and the Sports Corporation for the valuable experience that I gained every day in Colorado Springs. I look forward to applying it in my future career and will never forget the feeling of the wind on the morning of race day, working to make an impact from the top of the world.