It's bizzaro DC for me the last two days. I won't be claiming a heroic for the first time, but the break from the race allowed me to try for Beastling, which I actually got on my first try. Nothing like that has ever happened before either.
As for the race, I totally agree with all of the people who are hoping this blows up in SP's face. It's not that big of an amount, but between the 25 or so gems I usually spend on the race, and the 25 I'll be getting for what should be last place, it will cost them 50 gems to run this thing from me. If everyone does that it adds up.
It also sounds like the people who took it semi-easy last race (lap 10 or so) are having a little easier time than those of us who went all-out. So maybe the theory that they base it off your last race is correct? Of course this would require another race to help prove, so let's not!