I ride at the Oval (and did the Mingo races) on a ‘cross bike (and until recently MTB pedals), and I’ve yet to shave (though I’ve been considering it). I’ve yet to get a pump in a spokes. Heck, I did Mingo and several races at the Oval with old Suntour bar cons. I did take a ribbing for those….
Other folks have more experience with proper road races, so they can comment on the overall speed (I got shelled at Mingo, but I also made a few rookie mistakes). The pace will be pretty fast at the start, but it’ll mellow out.
I should add that even though I spent a lot of time at Mingo on my own (or with one or two other guys) it was good fun.