The longest open stretch came at the start and was probably 1/4 mile long. Someone snapped a chain (or more likely tried to shift under a heavy load) and created a big pile-up that briefly took down my buddy Sean (above) and sent a few people to the hospital. I got caught behind the pile-up and entered the singletrack down quite a few spots. The single track was chock full of tight muddy turns, logs, roots, cement and all manner of things designed to reacquaint you with gravity.
Long story short, I mostly stayed upright and moved up through the field. The new bike handled beautifully with no major problems- I think I burned up an entire set of brake pads though! I finished 5th overall with Sean literally on my wheel. I'm pretty happy with that result as my first pure MTB race in more than 10 years.
This will be the only mtb race I will get in before the Xterra regional in May, so hopefully it was enough to dust off the handling skillz.