First MTB race for me. Learned a lot and had fun! Decided to go off slow and not hold anyone up in my group which, given my time, was probably the right choice! Managed to pick up a few places but was suffering at the end - the constant pounding and lateral movement on a MTB is clearly something one has to get used to! Not sure if 52 is a good time to start but...
Amongst what I learned:
Reccy the entire course!: Coming up to what looks to a noob like a cliff at the end of a lap is a sure way to slow you down
Drop your tyre pressures: Skating around on 35psi Front and 38 Rear on pea gravel is not advisable (luckily I sorted this out on the reccy);
Having a Racing Ralph on the front in pea gravel is a sure wash-out inducer (again sorted this out on the reccy);
Remember to drink - this is what a Camelback is for!
If you are stuck behind someone for most of a lap, you are allowed to ask them if they could make way;
Watching a Master Class rider flog down the end-of-lap cliff in one move was inspiring (although I doubt I'm ever gonna do that);
Being good at making way for faster riders is the quickest way to get some praise - I did this very well .
So, onto more racing!