I'm pretty pumped up for this years Iron Cross Weekend, and like Mike said, I've been searching high and low for the best 50k layout for this years new updates!
If you've been with us throughout the life of the Iron Cross Race, you'll be noticing a LOT of changes for this year. It's hard to tell how to feel about all the changes that will take place, but both Mike and I feel like we are heading in the right direction. That being said, the focus always has and always will be on making a great long distance cyclocross event. We are the original race of this nature in the States (paying homage to the Three Peaks event in GB of course), and are at the front of the Ultra Cross Movement in the country. Anyone who has ever raced IC has had a part in this.
The feature races of the weekend will be the Mens, Womens, Masters, and Single Speed Categories in the 100k distance. Those are the only categories that will score you points in the UltraCX series(the new national long distance cyclocross series).
Something I'm sure everyone will wonder about, is whats the deal with the 50k race? The 50k race will be a very much similar loop to the 100k loop, maintaining a new (and very integral part of what Iron Cross is) run up. The 50k course deviates from the traditional course shortly after Checkpoint 1, descending off the ridge of a slightly rocky double-track. On the way back up the next ridge over, it approaches and conquers a miniature version of the dreaded Wigwam Run-up, complete with rocks and our signature powerline-vista views. After winding through the woods on double-track, there will be a short section of pavement across the top of the mountain to reconnect with the 100k course at the Ridege Road/Shippensburg Road intersection. I think anyone who tries it will like it, and it maintains a very similar layout and flow to the traditional course(minus some distance and extra climbing).
Also, we will be using the 50k course for an Ultra Run Saturday October 8th! I'm very excited about this. I like putting on running events, and we used to have a run as part of Iron Cross in the first couple years. It never took off running, (pun very obviously intended) but its time to try again.
Among other changes coming will be a new starting location (to showcase more of the parks heritage), video coverage on cyclingdirt.org, an Iron Cross Training/Preview Camp, and newly designed Iron Cross kits from Castelli. All of the new updates and details will be updated and located on the website in the coming month.
Start dusting that cross bike off, and go get some dirt road base miles in!