First off, I'll admit it, the day didn't start off to well. The night before, I set my alarm at 3:30am to be on the road by 4am. Well, my phone must have been on vacation because I swear I never heard the alarm. My wife ended up waking up and telling me, "Hey, aren't you racing today?" I replied, "Yea, let me sleep!"... "Well it's 5:30am!"... "Ah shi*!!!". I'll be honest, I gave up for a minute, and told myself I wouldn't make it being that I have to drive about 1.5hrs to where the race was being staged. About a minute later I came back to reality, and got up. I wouldn't miss this race after being off all summer and spending all week prepping the quad. It's 6am, and I'm on the freeway hauling a**!
I turn onto the dirt at about 7:45am, and I see all the racers going back to the pits. "Damn, I missed the rider's meeting!" I park, jump off the truck, and run to the sign up area just as they were tearing it down. Checked in, I rush back to the truck, head to the pits, unload and gear up! I never got ready faster in my life!... I dash to the starting line like a maniac just as the first wave of racers set course.
The banner drops and I'm off. I got an ok start, being 3rd or 4th off the bomb run, into the course. I wasn't too happy about it, but I pushed forward. It was insanely dusty on this first lap!!! I lost a couple of spots because of it; I really couldn't see! I charged ahead through the whoops, and into the rocky canyons. Just before check 2, these rocky canyons turned into sand.
I came up to a narrow canyon where I see a pile up of racers. Stopped for a bit to see what was going on, and apparently there was a downed rider. These other racers were just sitting there, so I tried to squeeze by. I tried to avoid him, but clipped him a little bit, and stalled it. Damn, now I was stuck. This downed rider was exhausted!!! He couldn't get his bike unstuck. So I helped him up, and got him going. By this time, the other riders were pissed off, back-tracked and went around somewhere.
Well, now I was alone and had a hard time getting out. A few other racers passed me, and with the help of one, got out and back-tracked myself. I hate to admit it, but I lost a good 15-20 minutes in this mess. I found some traction and pinned it through this sandy canyon onto a steep hill. It just so happened that the downed rider had gotten stuck on the hill as well. I managed to squeeze by him, and got to the check 2 where I told officials about a rider needing help.
After this second checkpoint, it was smooth sailing all the way through. The second half of the course was my favorite, as it was faster. Pinned it through a stretch called Sand Highway up to where the water truck was waiting for us. Yes, I said it, a water truck. It was a life saver as we passed these guys hosing us down in this blistering heat. Nice touch!!! I picked off a few positions, and made it to home check. The XX wasn't thirsty being that it was equipped with an IMS tank, so no pit stop for me, and off I go on the second lap.
By this time, my body was feeling good and warmed up. The first part of the course wasn't as bad as I had thought. I kept a steady pace through it all. Got to the sand, and pinned it all the way through. No way was I getting stuck, and losing time again. Made it to home check where the checkered flag came out. I wish I could have gotten to do that last lap; even though it was hottt, I still had it in me. If I hadn't lost that time in the sand, I could have gotten it, and possibly picked off a few other spots.
The Ceballos Racing/S2 Suspension prepped XX was flawless! I heard of a lot of racers overheating and calling it quits to save their rides. The 700 just charged on, and could have gone another round. Unofficial results won't be up for about a week, so I don't know exactly where I placed. I'll be sure to let you guys know. Here are a few shots of the aftermath...
This photo credit goes to Jeff Hoskins, a member here. He injured his knee, but was still able to make it out and volunteer with the race.