27 June 2011

2011 Pikes Peak Int'l Hill Climb: Race Day Photos

Race day is here!  And it starts early, about 230am for Anthony, dee and I as we arise and make our way up the hill.  We saw "The Crazies" as Judie calls themselves, around 330am sitting in their car on the Pikes Peak Highway, waiting for the tollgate to open.  Anthony, dee and I rolled by; Anthony knocked on Judie's window and she jumped up and got out of the car and delivered a ratty piece of paper that had scratched in pencil, "Go Todd! Go Geezer! #362!"  So funny!  They are #372 but I give her full credit for her great enthusiasm.  Those are minor details in the middle of the night when you haven't slept.

Gene and Pat, 3am crazies.

Gene and Judie, 3am.  I am glad the ladies brought a bodyguard.  Gene is a retired Air Force pilot.

Judie at sunrise, bundled up in the Camry.

Race start around 10am. Photo by JJ Pittinger.

JJ crews Todd and Geezer at the start line while the rest of us wait impatiently at Devil's Playground.  Photo by JJ Pittinger.

The sidewinder tricycle - pretty cool.  Photo by JJ Pittinger.

Morning on Devil's Playground.

Judie and Pat's perch on Devil's Playground.

Judie is AMAZING!  She had a gluten-free chocolate cake made for my birthday, decorated with the Phatt Man!  I think cake is fine for breakfast but we decided to save it for the end of the day to celebrate with Todd and Geezer and everyone.

Anthony, K and Judie pose with the most kickass cake ever.

Yep, dee is in there.  This is Geezer's rental SUV; dee and I crashed out in the back from 4-8am while Anthony tried to sleep in the front seat.  I guess age earns you a better sleeping spot.
K and her stepson Anthony.  He rocks.

Anthony and Pat high.

The guys next to us caught Zs when they could.

We saw this guy run up the course earlier, he went to the top of Pikes and ended up sitting next to me on his way down.  He ran the entire race course and wasn't tired or winded.  Super interesting and fit guy!  What was uncanny to me was that he looked so much like the famous ultrarunner, Dean Karnazes (Ultramarathon Man). 
The 'Cuda makes an impressive showing.  We didn't know he spun out earlier but got back on course.  We later learned he still got 2nd in his class!

Colorado's own and favorite homeboy, Keith in his welterweight Falcon.

Click to zoom - that's Todd and Geezer at the start of the W's!

The aftermath of the Bobby Regester crash.  So glad we saw him walk out with our own eyes.  It was a super stressful couple of minutes for the entire crowd.

The motorcycles are launched 5 at a time so there tends to be more action when they are on course as they jockey for position.

Watching the motorbikes from the top of the W's.  I was only a little bit nervous to stand in the place where the Monster almost launched into the Devil's Playground crowd last year.

Yay John!!!  That's my college buddy and our Pikes Peak crew guy, John Kollars, #831 in the SuperMoto 450.  He's SuperCrazy!

K and Anthony enjoying the sun (and not noticing sunburn yet).

Big K's Kitchen on the hill.  What can I get ya?

Hahahaha!  dee had a dirt mustache!  You know how I love mustaches.

The start of the finishers' parade down the hill - love it!

Hey, he finished and it counts.  There is no shame in a tow down part of the hill.

Fast electric car.

Yay!  My guys!!!!!  So proud of them.

Hayden's Groendyke's 1949 Caddy rips.

These two were so cute and she was so happy to see him.

I love this photo of John, so much positve energy in that guy!  John Kollars, #831.

John!  Stellar rookie finish!

John is a wildman.

Mockett and Angelica - felicidades!

The crazy Dark House Camaro cowboy from Montana with a successful finish.

Ralph, proudly representing the Vikingos of Sweden.

I love this little Triumph, I love his outfit and I love that custom seat.

Mondo siping.

Looking for the owner of this piece....

Found the owner!


Judie, Gene and Pat, buddies from the Summer Residence Association of Estes Park - these guys were troopers! Stayed up all night in their car, watched the race all day in the intense sun and wicked wind, the race went 3 hours longer, Judie had so much grit in her eyes she had to sit in the car for a while. Here they are at the end of the parade STILL SMILING. Not a big deal for these guys - they hike mountains in Rocky Mountain National Park all the time.  Longs Peak?  No big deal for them. 


Big sigh......the after party at the Silver Saddle in Manitou Springs.  Cake, beer, mescal.....all in moderation as we still have to drive 90 miles home to Broken Arrow.
The after party at the Silver Saddle: JJ, John and Anthony.
The best cake ever.  Even yummier with some Don Tacho smoked mescal from south of Oaxaca.

Happy Geezer.

The only racer in the world who wears Levis under his race suit.
John's truck says it all.

John dedicated his ride to his brother-in-law Jim and his friend Bill Smith (story below).

John Kollars dedicated his ride to his good friend and college roommate, Bill Smith, who died unexpectedly a few weeks before the race. John and Bill were a part of a group of friends I had in college who camped, rock climbed, hiked and 4-wheeled together in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Rest In Peace, Bill.

Rest In Peace, Bill.

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