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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I did my first cross race last weekend and had a blast. I'm a 36-year-old beginner and raced with a one-day license in cat 4. The race was scheduled for 40 minutes, but it went ~31 minutes at 4 laps, so I felt like they should have thrown in a fifth lap. I finished a couple minutes back in 57th out of 100 having started in 70th place on the grid.

I'm looking at an upcoming race and there are three different races I seem to be eligible for. 1) Cat 4 Men (this is what I did for the first one); 2) Cat 3,4 Men 35+ (45+); and 3) Cat 3, 4 Men. The Cat 4 race is scheduled for 40 minutes, the others for 45.

Is it expected that once you hit 35, you should be in the masters race? I prefer the longer race as I'm coming from a background with events much longer than 40 minutes, so I think the longer it is, the better off I am. And why is there a combined Cat 3/4 when there is a separate Cat 4? Is it just to accommodate extra racers as the Cat 4 usually sells out? I'm not looking to move up because I think I'm so good but rather that I'd rather get an extra lap or two in.

The first race was Ed Sander in Maryland, and the one I'm looking at is DCCX.
 

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kcb203 said:
I did my first cross race last weekend and had a blast. I'm a 36-year-old beginner and raced with a one-day license in cat 4. The race was scheduled for 40 minutes, but it went ~31 minutes at 4 laps, so I felt like they should have thrown in a fifth lap. I finished a couple minutes back in 57th out of 100 having started in 70th place on the grid.

I'm looking at an upcoming race and there are three different races I seem to be eligible for. 1) Cat 4 Men (this is what I did for the first one); 2) Cat 3,4 Men 35+ (45+); and 3) Cat 3, 4 Men. The Cat 4 race is scheduled for 40 minutes, the others for 45.

Is it expected that once you hit 35, you should be in the masters race? I prefer the longer race as I'm coming from a background with events much longer than 40 minutes, so I think the longer it is, the better off I am. And why is there a combined Cat 3/4 when there is a separate Cat 4? Is it just to accommodate extra racers as the Cat 4 usually sells out? I'm not looking to move up because I think I'm so good but rather that I'd rather get an extra lap or two in.

The first race was Ed Sander in Maryland, and the one I'm looking at is DCCX.
There is no rule or expectation that you have to race masters. The open category just tends to be a bit faster for the same category.

The mixed fields (e.g. 3,4 ) give people a chance to race up in category even before they upgrade officially. and yes, helps spread things out as the small categories fill up. there are so many cat 4s the promoters always like it when people race up, provided the person isn't way over their head. sounds like you did fine in the 4s. the master 3/4 are probably similar in speed. cat 3 would be distinctly faster , at least towards the front. at DCCX there probably will be a lot of cat 4 that missed out registering for the cat 4 or masters 3/4. there is also a rookie race at DCCX, but sounds like you are already past the need for that (though you are welcome to double up and race at the beginning and end of the program)

BTW, the 3/4 masters is very close to filled, so if you want that category please act fast....

the officials decide on the lap number on the fly, sometimes they err on the shorter side when the fields are huge. whatever the distance try to dose your efforts so you are spent when you are done. Most any distance can feel exhausting if you pace it right. a 30 minute effort done right will hurt!

marc
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks for the responses. I've already signed up for the Cat 4 because I've got other stuff going on that day and need to be done early, so I'll be doing that one.
 

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Yup, like DC said, Masters or Open is your choice. The 3/4 races tend to be a good bit faster at the front than the 4 race. But, the middle is similar. You could go totally nuts and do all three.
 

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Crack Monkey said:
Yup, like DC said, Masters or Open is your choice. The 3/4 races tend to be a good bit faster at the front than the 4 race. But, the middle is similar. You could go totally nuts and do all three.
yep- especially as the cat 4 and B masters fill, more 4s will probably go for the open 3/4. you end up racing the guys 5-10" in front and back of you anyway.

marc
 
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