Pikes Peak International Hill Climb: Women Drivers Make Their Mark

Alabama News Network and Bahakel Sports are getting you ready for the 100th running of The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

This year, three female drivers are taking on the mountain in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Anna Kooiman of Bahakel Sports, a division of Alabama News Network’s parent company, is there to preview the race, which goes for more than 12 miles, with 156 turns and a finish line that’s more than 14,000 above sea level.

In a male dominated sport, three notable women are among the more than 70 competitors.

How scary are all those turns, many of which have no guardrails to keep a driver from going over a cliff?

“A lot of them look the same — you are staring up at the sky. You wish there were some more guardrails in some places. So you better know where you are going,” driver Laura Hayes said.

But being labeled as female seems to be the last thing on these competitors’ minds.

“I don’t really think about that – because it just is what it is,” driver Kathy Mead said.

“I use that as motivation and prove people wrong,” driver Loni Unser said.

The first female to take on the mountain? Joyce Thompson in 1960.

But it wasn’t until 1985 that a woman claimed victory. That legend was French driver Michelle Mouton.

“She was the queen of the mountain years ago — she is pretty awesome,” Hayes said.

So what would Laura Hayes, Loni Unser and Kathy Mead say to females looking to get into a male dominated profession?

“Decide what you want to do and go after it. Because even if you don’t get it – you’ll feel good about yourself for trying to do what you wanted – instead of doing what everybody else told you,” Mead said.

“You can make whatever you want happen as long as you work hard enough,” Unser said.

“Just trying to do my best and pave the way for future ladies coming up through the ranks. We definitely need to support each other,” Hayes said.

Don’t miss seeing the 100th running of The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Live coverage starts at 8AM CDT Sunday on Bahakelsports.com.


Categories: News, News Video, Pikes Peak Video, Sports