According to the club the conditions down in the valleys were supposed to be pretty dusty. However, up in the mountains they said it should have some good traction and even some snow on the ground. Thank goodness they were right and the course was actually really good! The race started out just in front of the sand dunes and then went right into them. I had a great start, and was leading for the first 4-miles until Kendall made a good pass on me in a tight corner. I stayed right on him for the next few miles, and then had to back off because of the dust. This year they kept us down low for the first loop and ran us through more sand, which was pretty cool. I was pretty conservative through a lot of the sand sections and most of the first 54-mile loop. After the alternate gas, halfway into this loop, I could still see Kendall and figured he was still less than a minute ahead of me. I also had David Pearson not far behind me, so I had to make sure I still was riding a good pace. Towards the end of the first loop, we had to stop at a check where we had to get off the bike and run beside it until we got to the other side. I'm not used to running next to my bike, but it was pretty cool. Coming into the main pit I was still in second with DP third, followed by Kamo and Sutherlin. After I gassed I was cruising down the pit, and to my surprise I saw Kendall sitting at the end of it with a course marshal. I thought he got a penalty for speeding in the pits, but after the race I found out he was stopped and held for a minute for not getting off his bike and pushing it across the road (he must've not known). Now I was just handed the lead and was pretty happy. The next loop headed into the trees, which I'm usually pretty good at, so I figured this was going to be my strong point in the race. I had a good pace going, but every now and then I could see Kendall a little ways behind me. This 51-mile loop was awesome and we actually rode across some snow in a few sections. I made a few mistakes, and hit a couple trees, but I figured the guys behind me were doing the same thing. This loop also had an alternate gas halfway into it, and I wasn't sure if I could make 51-miles so I stopped and Steve Argubright gave me my gas can. As I was filling up, Kendall went by and didn't stop for gas. Right away I was like I probably shouldn't have stopped! Luckily I was able to push it and catch back up to him and that's when we had some great racing. We were both on it and I was pushing it more then I would've liked. There was one point he blew a turn and when I tried to go under him we could've collided, but I backed off and wasn't going to chance it. I was really having a good time with this until I blew through some trees, and had to turn around, which gave him a little gap. I started pushing it pretty hard again and then washed my front end out. I lost some more time and now we were getting back into the lower stuff (out of the mountains) and it was pretty dusty again. I figured I had lost my chance and now was just hoping for a mistake on his part. Believe it or not it happened, and I didn't even realize it. There were some cows in the open fields, and I guess he didn't see the turn arrow and kept going straight. Well I turned, and as I was going I was thinking to myself he either checked out or got lost. I still was pushing it with about 8-miles to go, but really wasn't sure if I was leading. There were still a few small tree sections and I was trying to look as far ahead as I could to see if he was up there, but couldn't tell. I can usually read the tire tracks and tell if there was someone going fast in front of me and I didn't see any. Now I was looking over my shoulder, but never saw anyone. When I came across the finish there were a ton of people cheering, but I really didn't know until I stopped at the end and didn't see him. I asked someone if I won and they said YEAH! Jonny was there and I told him Kendall must've got lost. It was a weird way to get the win since it didn't feel like I won, but I'll take it! That's the first time I've ever been on that end of the deal!