I've found that if you talk to Q until he turns you into a targ, it makes the race a whole lot easier because the targ seems to get better "traction" and is smaller so you eat up less track while turning.
The race is flawed. I have done it 4 times, half the time you have people who were never in the start area already at the finish and grabbed a flag. The other times I do finish and the flags are there I can not "grab" I can only guess that my cursor will change to "grab it because nothing works. It is a waste of time. I went to a low pop server and only myself and another started it. When we got to the end there was the 2nd and 3rd place flags, but I could not "grab" them. I put in ticket, but doubt I will hear anything before the end of the year. I have not received a single tag. I see the green flashing race about to start, I run when gates go down. I easily stay in course, but I don't get crap and people somehow are able to get flags without being at the starting line. Don't get me wrong, the rest of the winterland is awesome, but this is horribly flawed.