EquipmentChoose your equipment wisely. The course has some pretty rough and steep (for a typical 'cross race) sections. The following are similar to recommendations we've had since the start of this gig, but have been updated to reflect the slightly less technical nature of the current course.
First and foremost, this is a 'cross race. That's the spirit of it and what we've had in mind from day 1. We don't restrict what you run though (and we certainly don't hold you to less than 33mm tires!). We know that you can choose to ride whatever you want. Without a doubt there are sections of this thing that will be faster on a mountain bike than a 'cross bike. That being said, mountain bikes are fewer in number on the start line each year because the way to experience this race is on a 'cross bike - that is what makes it Iron Cross! (BTW, at some point MTBs will be no more at IC. That day isn't here yet, but it is coming.)
You're going to need either some bottle cages and bottles or a camelback, don't rely on the aid stations for water as they're too far apart to keep you hydrated if you only drink there. Eat lots and drink lots during this ride. It sure is pretty out here during fall, but don't get all distracted and make sure to keep sucking down that Hammer HEED.