Major balloon race gets under way in Albuquerque

Pilot and deputy director of the America's Challenge gas balloon race Kevin Knapp, right, prepares to lift off in his Wounded Warrior Project balloon at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, N.M., on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2010. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan)

October 9, 2010 7:45:57 AM PDT
Racers lifted off early Saturday in one of ballooning's most prestigious events, but without two pilots considered to be among the fiercest competitors at the annual America's Challenge gas balloon race