TBF Racing started the KickStart last year (read my race report) as a way to gently ease into the MTB schedule. It is also a prologue to their MTB Challenge Series.
As XC races go, it's pretty tame: 7 mile laps of 900' of rolling hills (sometime with a little sand). Novices and Junior do one lap, Sport and Single Speed do two laps, and Experts clock three laps. Go to the last year's race report to see elevation and map details.
Event: MTB KickStart
Dates: January 25th, 2009
Location: Granite Bay, CA (Granite Beach, Folsom Lake Recreation Area) [MAP]
Cost: $40, $50 on race day. 18 & under are $30, $40 on race day.
Registration: active.com or onsite