King of the Hammers


Have you ever thought you would wake up the next morning and not know what the weather would be like? Surprisingly, all those at King of the Hammers (KOH) 2019 has experienced that from sand storms to pouring rain, to it being warm out. But that just contributes to the excitement of the race. It is not only the weather that is giving the racers and everyone else a hard time. A dry lake bed at Johnson Valley, California is a challenge for those racers who wanted one, and since it’s February, the cold will get to some people, but others are there to win the cash prize at the end.

Dave Cole, a Hammertown participant, has taken part every year since KOH has started in 2007. Cole takes many hours and long weeks to set up Hammertown for those to come. The event might only last a week, but the setting up part would take months. Dave Cole might run KOH now, but in 2007, when the first KOH was going to happen, it was Jeff Knoll’s and his idea to create a racing event that would go across desert, rocks, and many other harsh terrains. It had all come to them when they were in a bar in San Bernardino and they had planned it out on a napkin.

“It is really chaotic and crowded, but a really cool experience, “ says one of the police workers I asked at KOH. Another police officer agreed about it being chaotic and crowded and had a little more to say. “Working here is hard because there are young adults that are drinking and doing some silly things, so it can be interesting sometimes.” They really like KOH, but they still have to work and do their job.

“King of the Hammers is a race in the desert with difficult terrain and obstacles and the hardest one day race in the world,” says Chris Brown who is a racer in the 4800 category. He has run at KOH for two years and spectated for his first year there. Chris Brown has been to the most recent KOH this year. Chris had gotten all the way past the Outer Limits and had one left called Spooners. “The trails don’t seem as hard when you are watching it all go down, but when you are out there running the course, it is a whole new level of skills. It is grueling, there are some top notch cars that break out there. You don’t know what is going to happen out there until it actually happens.

King of the Hammers is not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot to get through that type of terrain. If a racer’s body is not the correct type of shape then it can be all over for a racer. If someone’s car is not 100% robust, then that could be the difference between someone winning and breaking. King of the Hammers is one of the hardest races anyone could enter as less than 5% finish the race. King of the Hammers might not seem like the hardest race when watching, but once you get in those vehicles and get on the course, it is like a whole different realm.