I raced my MC29, with mostly stock parts in the sport class and passed many more expensive bikes and also go passed quite a bit myself. I particularly remember passing an Air9 and Lynsky in tight single track and the looks I got were priceless -- Unless it's a 50 mile endurance race I would do it!
I dont see what would stop you from using this bike for a 50 or 100 mile endurance.
I just built mine up its heavy but the stock wheelset is a boat anchor, lighter wheels would go a long way. I imagine a wheelset that cost as much as the bike would help out quite a bit.
rocking it with these upgrades, weight on my bathroom scale put it +-.5 of 26lb for an 09 medium. I imagine a 1000 dollar wheelset would get down to 24ish lb suspended 22ish rigid. I9s next spring is what I am telling myself. just dont have the cash right now.
with a 80mm stem from a normal monocog(I love short cockpits)
Reba Race fork set at 90mm(all travel spacer cut in half)
Rockshox Pop Lock
Avid Juicy 5 brakes
Truvative Stylo 1.1 cranks(not pictured)
Maxxis ardent 2.25 front(not pictured)
Maxxis Ignitor 2.1 rear
both being run ghetto tubeless on the stock rims.
19 tooth surly rear cog
Shimano 560 clipless pedals(not the flats pictured lol)
the bike is pretty awesome, feels slightly slower than my 24 lb 26inch SS on climbs but other than that really loving the big wheels. the bike is incredible balanced, feels like a magic carpet in rough sections yet doesnt wonder on off camber or wallow while climbing.
With the shorter cockpit it feel downright like a big BMX bike more so than my 26inch Jamis Exile that I have pretty damn sorted. Weight is kinda of issue climbing but I suspect thats more heavy wheelset than actual bike weight.
I still have at least 4 XC race to go, I report back on how it goes. i am also doing a 24 hour team event where Ill be running this bike with gear due to huge climb with looseness every lap.