The race officially starts at 9:00 in the morning, but if you want to capture the essence of what makes the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb a worldwide sensation you have to get up much earlier, and get a comfy rock to sit on at about 14,000 feet above sea level.
Only then will you stare Eastward in the cold morning mist and expectantly long for the magnificent sunrise above the curvature of the planet as you await the roar of unmuffled horsepower, dust, and wheel spin from the first racer up the mountain.
This year the weather was a bit warm, and the course was a bit dry for a record breaking run so returning champ Tajima could not managed anything close to the 10 minute 01 second time of his record run.
The Ford team with two 800 HP Ford Fiestas two rally car drivers (including two time world champ Marcus Gronholm) managed to get one car to the top of the peak in a time of 11:29.
Check out this video of Gronholm pre-running the course in a Ford Flex.
Rhys Millen in his Hyundai Genesis in the 2wd category managed to shred his tires and in the process went up the mountain in an impressive 10 minutes and 15 seconds.
Photo journalist Paul Shippey caught (www.paulshippey.com) all of the action at this year's race.
Check out his photos below for an up close and personal look at the 89th running of the Pikes Peak In international Hill Climb.