First off I just want to say that my main competition Kelly Magelky turned out to be one of the coolest guys I have ever met! His attitude throughout the race towards my crew and me was really incredible, plus the guy is super strong and he made this hard race even harder.
From the very start Kelly and I rode together while I pushed the pace through the technical sections, with him pushing on the road sections. We ended up doing a ridiculous pace for the first 2 laps. I should have known better but I kept up the high pace into the third lap.
At the start of lap three we dropped into a tricky sand wash and I came in a little to hot and crashed hard breaking my bar-end off and loosening my lock-on grips. This forced me to slow down a bit because I had to hold the grip to keep it on the bar. This tuned out to be a good thing; I had been running at my limit and needed to slow down anyway. The next three laps I slowed my pace way down and my legs were cramping and I puked a little bit! I was in rough shape and the voices of doubt started to enter my mind, I just had to remind myself that it was a long way to go and there was plenty off time to recover.
As night approached I was feeling better and better and I began gaining back the time that Kelly had put into me. Then when the darkness came, I was on fire feeling great and having a good time joking around with people. A little after 9 pm at the start of another lap the racer behind me said “nice job”, I said “thanks” and told him he could pass; but the guy says “its me Kelly”. I was like “wow”, I already caught him, feeling so good, I decided to test him and pick it up a bit and dropped him pretty quick. I kept the hard pace through the night and by morning had about an hour into Kelly.
This is the point in the race for me that was really hard and painful. The opening laps and the fast night laps really put a hurting on me and I was mentally and physically drained. I fought on, just one pedal stroke at a time just telling myself it will end, it wont last forever. Well it seemed like forever but it finally did end and all the pain was well worth it! I had won the 24 hours of Moab and the national championship.
This had been my hardest race in a long, long time, but with pain and suffering comes pride and accomplishment. That is the feeling I have now because I didn’t quit or say I can’t, and that outweighs anything I had to endure out on the course.