Pretty exhilarating race. XC is pretty cool.
Got there early enough to run the course...well, I got lost, then ran into the 1st and 2nd place dudes who were tasked with marking the course, so ran the rest with them. Nice guys. 23 year olds. Damn them and their youth.
Anyway, classic start, all lined up on top of hill, chaos to the first turn and into the woods. Awesome. I don't think place changed at all from the time we entered the woods until the end. I managed to hang with the 2 kids until "the hill" at 1.5. About 125 feet up two tenths of a mile. Brutal. They dropped me hard. Managed to maintain the distance pretty much for the rest of the race, but it was a good 20 to 30 seconds. I just hung on from there.
But running through the woods, over roots, stumps, then into meadows with the grass grabbing your legs, horseshoe flies divebombing, mud getting kicked in my mouth, kicking rocks - it's sweet. It all happens so fast, almost feels like the flying motorbike Star Wars scene - just whizzing blur through the trees. Loved it. Managed a decent kick for the last couple tenths to sneak under 17. 3rd overall.
Good stuff (and for $2...great stuff).