Matheson sponsored the America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta held in Albuquerque, New Mexico this October, an event it has been supporting for over a decade.

The America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race is a cross-country duration and distance race, and this year the event featured both hydrogen and helium balloons.

Matheson supplied and filled four hydrogen and four helium balloons for the race. This year’s winning team consisted of members from the UK and Australia. Their trip took 71 hours, 32 minutes, and they traveled a distance of 974 miles, landing 65 miles from Minot, North Dakota.

This is the world’s largest premier ballooning event, attracting more than 800 balloons, and it is the most photographed event in the world. It is estimated that over one and a half million spectators were on-site for the 2011 event.

Matheson is the largest subsidiary of the Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation Group, the largest Japanese supplier of industrial gases and one of the five largest suppliers of industrial, specialty, and electronics gases in the world.