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Step on the gas!

A gas balloon is inflated as the America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race prepares to get underway on Monday evening. (Donn Friedman/Journal)

After being postponed Saturday and Sunday, the America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race launched Monday night.

Balloon Fiesta officials called off the scheduled weekend launches due to high winds in the path of the balloons, which were predicted to travel east into Oklahoma and Texas.

The white balloons, which are smaller, more rounded and filled with hydrogen instead of hot air, took off from Balloon Fiesta Park around 9 p.m.

The balloonists compete to see who can travel the farthest between their launch and Oct. 12.

The winning team in the last race, in 2017, traveled 2,276 miles, landing near Labrador City, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Final preparations are underway for the launch of the America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race Monday evening. (Donn Friedman/Journal)

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