I love mountain bike cross-country racing. A nice 20-30 mile race is all I need. But, the trend these past years is about making incredibly long and difficult courses to see who can nad-up and finish them, and yes, someone will win.
The list is long, Dirt, Sweat and gears, SSUSA, Cohutta 100, Mt. Mitchell MTB, Fool's Gold, etc. These are ultra-hard endurance races and they must be popular because people sign up and do them, tell tales, drink beer. There are also the 6 and 12 hour races. As if less distance/time is for pussies.
I long for the days when XC races were simple events ridden over mountains in digestible distances that did not lean toward the adrenaline junkie ultra crowd who pushes it to see when and where their body will fail, just so they can spin yarns over cool beer later.
Give me nice XC races and I am happy. Also, while you are at it, throw in some short track as well.
Personally, I have no desire to race past 3 hours on a bike. After that it feels like work, and work sucks unless I am getting paid, and even then it sucks a lot too.
I guess I am a pussy.