Saturday, October 6, 2012

The First King Of Iron Cross

10 Years.

1 Rider.

In the last decade IC has changed a bit.  Though the general layout of the course has been the same features like the run-up of Pole Steeple trail and Camp Thompson had to be left behind as the event outgrew the Camp.  Over the years we fine tuned the course to one that favors a 'cross bike just ever so slightly over an mtb - provided of course you can rock that thing in the singletrack.

Bike technology has changed the IC game too.  10 years ago there were few if any 29ers floating around and the bigger wheels hooked to rigid forks have proven to be an awfully close challenger for the "Bike of IC" crown.

We've been joking that perhaps had 29ers existed in such numbers as they do today in 2002 we'd have named Iron Cross something more like IronRigid29er.  We think you'll agree though that regardless of these usurpers "Iron Cross" rolls off the tongue so much more sweetly.

And who knows, as drop bars disc brakes become more refined perhaps this new technology will tilt the playing field even more toward 'cross rigs.  Things change.

We've seen all sorts of different winners with backgrounds from mtb, cross, fell running and triathlon take the wins.  Eatough, Jebb, Bishop, Applegate, Treadwell, Santurbane, Yeager, Barclay, and a Shogren or two are a few of the names who have stood atop various podiums over the years.  Riders from throughout North America and across the Atlantic have found their way to south central PA and ridges of Michaux.

And while we've certainly developed a bit of a cult following over the years with some riders having completed six, seven or eight editions, through it all there has been one and only one rider to take on the challenge every year.  That rider is an old friend of ours and we're excited to celebrate not only our 10th year of introducing the sport of ultra cross to America but of watching Fast Al cross the line.

Of course, I'm sure Fast Al is hoping this isn't a jynx.  But with 9 years of IC behind him I'm betting he's seen it all out there on the course and this 10th year will be some icing on a gigantic cake of asskickings.  Six hundred and some odd miles of IC will have passed under his wheels come mid afternoon on Oct 7.  Nice work.

 [So I actually wrote that last bit before we knew that this IC will be like none before with weather we've not seen in 10 years....  Whatev.  Fast Al is ready.]

So, Albert Greene, you are certainly the first King of Iron Cross. Thanks so very much for your support over the years.  You're awesome.  We can't wait to see you cross that line the 10th time.

Fast Al's sense of humor works for us.

Everyone who has made this thing happen over the years.