My first MTB race of the year is this weekend at the Nebraska Psycowpath series. They do a fantastic job with the organization and the courses. So they attract a pretty large crowd. They also have a "Marathon" class which is an additional format (on top of the normal XC races).
The marathon races last for 4 hours, but if you complete a lap prior to the 4 hour mark then you can go for another. Most laps/first racer wins. Thus it can become a race of attrition, pacing and strategy (so you don't have to go out for that extra lap after the 4 hour mark). I wasn't the fastest in this group last year, but I was the most consistent and won the series. I had 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 10th for my placings in the six races. I'm not feeling as strong as last year for this first race, I don't really know what to expect. I'm sure that the competitive juices will start flowing on the starting line, I just hope that I don't blow-up.
My bike is still in winter mode. In the next few days I need to put the suspension fork back on, switch out the front chain ring and chain. Replace some worn out bearings and check other vital parts. This is not something that you normally do just before a race. I hope that I can get it done on Thursday and then ride the bike Friday and Saturday to shake out any bugs.
Lastly, I was hoping to have my tires last the month of April before replacement. On tonight's ride I noticed what looked like something stuck to the tread. When I stopped, I found a bubble start to push-out from between the treads. Basically a start to what ended up happening to me two years ago in the picture below. I guess I need to replace those before this weekends race as well (at least I found it now).