I am racing the Squiggy as my first race also. The format is either a 6 hour solo or team relay. The idea is that you try to get in as many laps in the alloted time. Traditional XC races are raced on a set course, and the first rider to cross the finish line wins.
The 2 reasons I am racing Squiggy as my "virgin" racing experience is 1) I am very familiar with the trails - and they are relatively easy 2) The 6 hour solo format, in my mind at least, puts more of an emphasis on individual performance and completing laps - I'm not trying to do a hundred laps - depending on the course, I can set a goal for the number of laps I want to compete.
I do expect to compete this year when XC season starts back up, so I think the Squiggy will give me a feel of being a part of the competition.
If you'd like to meet up sometime and do a training ride, let me know. I'm out there frequently.