I had my first race on Saturday, the Crossin' 4 Canines CX race. It was the 2nd year for this race up in Rocky Hill Ct we had 49 riders in the mens Cat 4 aka "Cat 2,3,4 sandbaggers class", up from 31 last year which was nice to see. I get there meet Krisdrum, bs a bit, go out to practice and i see that the course is completely different from last year and in my opinion, much much better!! On my first lap of practice my new ghetto tubeless rear tire burps and then blows out.....back to the car, rip it all apart and put a tube in it, so much for that idea, go out and practice some more. Time for line up, and i realize i finally have pit wheels...and they are still leaning on the car.....i am on fire today!!!! Out to car come back and i find that i will be starting near the rear of the field, oh well, what can you do. As the race marshall is giving instructions he notes that a guy has his number on wrong, he finds the guy and tells him and the guy is like "ok, i'll get it right next time"...ummm no goes the marshall, fix it now or don't race.... guess where he is standing...yup right next to me, so i lean over and help him with his # and two guys go occupy the space i was in, now i am starting dead last on the field, i am laughing to myself at this point. So the whislte blows and we go....slowly.....get to the first turn and it is impossible to pass, i finally start picking guys off in 2's and 3's and by the end of the first lap i have gotten to about 17th, the leaders are gone so i try to settle into the 180 bpm death march and hold or get a few more spots. I pass a few guys and some of the guys that paced better that I, pass me back, all in all i think i lost 4 maybe 5 spots back on laps 2 and 3, the rush to mid pack definitely hurt me on lap 2 and 3. By lap 4 it was me and one other guy duking it out for about 22nd, we would go back and forth, and at the end of the 4th i had a good lead on him, by 1/3 through the 5th and final lap he closed the gap, but i knew he was toast, so when he got to me, i turned it up a bit and dropped him again......then....WHAMMO rear tire blows out......FARG!!!!!!! I need tubbies, so i start jogging with my bike and have bout half lap to go, so i start counting riders as they go by...1...2...3 and so on. I get out of the rear dirt rock section and get to grass and jump back on my bike and finish on a flat, man was it a handful in the grass corners with a flat rear. Ended up 31st, so i lost 8-9 places with the flat. I was very happy with the race, my weight loss and full season of Crit racing helped tremendously, now i just need to get a better start spot.