A long time ago when Mike was a young buck he read John Wilcokson's book, The World of Cycling, and came across his story about the Three Peaks race in England.  Three Peaks sounds nuts and crazy; Mike likes nuts and crazy.

One day on a road ride Mike told Mark about the idea of putting on something like this Three Peaks gig in Michaux State Forest, but with their own..........idiom.  Mark liked the idea a lot.  Mark likes nuts and crazy too.  And Monty Python's Holy Grail, both Mike and Mark like the Holy Grail.

Luckily for humankind, Mark thought is was a good enough idea to actually make it happen and rallied Yellow Breaches Racing to the cause.  He told Mike and Mike said, hell yea!  A few other key folks hopped on board too - Brett Weiser, Chris Houston, and Dr. Dave were particularly active in the first year or four.  We took a leap that people would find a long hard ride in a beautiful place but in a different way of doing things worth doing.  300+ riders later and several like minded events crediting us as inspiration seem to indicate that although we were thought of as nut-ball to start it is all working out for the best!  Here is how we first described Iron Cross:

"Iron Cross was hatched because of, and is based on [the idea of], the Three Peaks Cyclocross race in England. Iron Cross offers a style of 'cross racing much different than burning short laps around the local municipal park. It is an "ultra" style event with a much bigger adventure element than most 'cross contests and should attract all sorts of riders, not just 'cross racers. The Michaux State Forest hosts some of the East Coast's most popular mountain bike races each year and we hope to create an event as well-liked and as tough. 

The name for Iron Cross was derived from a combination of the history of the race's venue and the shortened form of "cyclocross." The race venue, Camp Thompson, is within Pine Grove Furnace State Park, a notable iron producing center around the turn of the century and before. So, "Iron" was pulled from the area's rich history and reflects the toughness of the event, while "Cross" is simply short for "cyclocross.""

Getting back to the history of this gig...These guys were later joined by more Lovers of IC as the event grew such as Karen Polensky and Zach Adams.  Other cycling nuts in the area like Mike Hebe and Hans Bakermans have been part of IC for years as have the crew at World Cup Ski and Cycle in Mechanicsburg and are integral to its success.

The obvious place to do this thing was, and remains, Michaux State Forest.  Michaux is renowned for it's technical mountain biking and super swell riding community.  With the trail option available in the woods and all the gravel roads it was harder to figure out what to leave out than what to include in the course!  Finding The Run-Up was key.  In fact, the first edition or two, while very much 'cross bike-able, still gave a little too much of an advantage to mountain bikes so the course evolved to where it is today with a stellar mix of gravel, pavement, dirt and a bit of fun singletrack here and there.

While the forces behind IC have shifted over the years we're still dedicated to the two principles of the original Iron Cross - 1.  Take care of everyone and 2.  You can't make bike riders suffer enough.

2013 - Cole House and Ruth Sherman take over the new look IC course.

2012 - Adam Farabaugh gets revenge on IC and Cheryl Sornson makes home ground count.

2011 - Dereck Treadwell introduces himself to the ultracross crowd while NoTubes' Vicki Barclay makes it two in a row.

2010 Results -  Isaac Enderline and Vicki Barclay make their marks in the endurance race world with break through wins at Iron Cross.

2009 Results -

2008 Results -

2007 Results -British Invasion!!  Hearing that the upstart Yanks had put together a kick ass cyclocross shindig inspired by their very own Three Peaks some super fast Brits made the trip west to take on IC.  Former Peaks winner Rob Jebb (and world class ultra runner) took first with his countryman finishing 3rd and Chris Beck sitting between.  Jebb made his race winning move on the much feared centerpiece of IC, the WigWam run-up.  Jebb's secret?  He actually RAN up it.  Most people walk.  Slowly.  And have to use their hands to grab trees on the way up.

2006 Results -

2005 Results -

2004 Results - Andy Applegate takes the first of his victories at Iron Cross in year two of the event.

2003 Results - Year one brought out some regional heavy hitters and quite a few curious riders to find out what the heck this whole 100K cyclocross thing could possibly be about.  Trek's Chris Eatough took the victory.  Bishop missed a turn.  And on a way too mtb friendly course Kuhn was the first rider to finish on a 'cross bike.