I don't see Cyclocross as a type of racing but rather as a type of riding. To be sure, true cross riding has been bastardized into a city park type of racing but that ignores the idea that cross RIDING is something entirely different from road riding and MTB riding.
Some of us ride our road bikes along the pavement and when we see an interesting sidepath whether paved or not, take off for the adventure. Some of us ride out MTB's to the trail rides.
But Cross riding is a mixture of both. The larger, treaded tires make off road riding safer since you can stop with more assurance. The design of the bike makes road riding faster and more efficient.
I love heading up the trail to the top of the hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The wind blowing in your face and there being no one else who wants to ride oe hike out the mile to the bluff gives a remarkably fine feeling of remoteness in an ever more crowded world.
I've climbed for 5 miles up a fireroad of the sort which California is covered. At the top a zig and a zap and a stop at a general store for a sandwich and a soda. Then along another fireroad for 10 miles and down to the highway for a ride over the hill and back down to the house or the car or the campsite.
I have a fine full suspension MTB but I seldom use it because it is so perfect that it requires little or no skill to cross the terrain. I'm not into speed - I'm into the feeling of my body weaving this way and that as I work the Cross bike through muddy ditches and around cow flops. I'm looking for the feeling of a bike that becomes part of your body not one that isolates you from the land.
And this is the same reason that so many people came to MTB riding in the first place. Before SPEED became paramount and fun equated to the shortest period of time on the bike.
After that cross ride, "I'll have the chimichangas and an Ace beer!"