Today at the whirley bird in Bensalem, PA someone cut across my line and hit my front (tubeless) tire hard and knocked it off the rim- maybe a minute or two into the race. I had a good start, was feeling strong and boom, over.
When I realized it was just a major burp I started shouting out for a pump. Most people just looked at me oddly, but finally someone said they had one handy back at the start. I ran back, filled the tire to 40 and jumped back on. They had already roped off the start so I had to make my way under teh yellow tape, but before I knew it I was passing the slow guys (I'm a slow guy too). After the first lap I'd passed several riders and realized how good I was feeling. Not just physically, but mentally too. The under dog position works pretty good as a motivator. I was able to stay on the gas through most of the race (a problem of mine) and passed someone 20' from the finish.
I was high as a kite when I finally caught my breath at the end of the race. I'm sure I finished way low, but what the hell, I came back from a DNF.
If you can fix that tire/derailleur/brake/etc. problem and keep racing, do it. It's worth it. I'm sure I'll place a lot better later in the season than I did today, but I'm not sure if I'll come away FEELING much better.
P.S. Gotta give props to the dude at the Bilenky Junk Yard Cross last year that RAN with his bike the last two laps after he jammed up his RD. My inspiration for today's comeback.