Incredibly profound yet fantastically flawed
So yesterday was IC 2017. The last time they did this race, in 2015, the weather made it truly epic - I know that word is overused, but it fit then. Apparently, Mike Kuhn has some kind of arrangement with the weather gods because yesterday was another insane weather day, albeit a bit more one-note. (In '15, we got rain, snow, sleet, wind and even some sun. Yesterday, we got rain. And lots of it.)
Anyway, before the race a bunch of us were chatting and we all decided that it would only be a steady mist all day. But it turns out that was just wishful thinking. As soon as we started to roll out, it was a downpour. And the rest of the day, the "good weather" moments were the occasional misty sections (few and far between.)
But it's Iron Cross, so we sack up. It was a crazy ride - road spray was probably my biggest enemy all day long, but the three mile long jeep road section with foot deep puddles was no prize itself. I started out in the lead, faded to fourth after one road descent nearly gave me hypothermia, and then clawed my way back to take the win by pinning it in the MTB-friendly sections of the course (I was the only SSer not on a cross bike, so I had the advantage in some sections and disadvantage in others.) The finish line was moved to the top of a very chunky off-road climb this year (after that, though, you still had a four or five mile descent back to the park where we started.) Finishing on that climb was a kick in the nuts, but I was glad for it because I knew it made holding off chasers a little easier since it was definitely better suited to an MTB. After the race, I hit up the after-party at the Brickyard Ale House, where I almost missed the podiums because I was assaulting a hamburger. As always with Mike's races, we got some insane swag. I got a set of Stan's rims for winning, but everyone who finished got a really cool red and black Iron Cross scarf, and everyone who signed up got tokens for food and beer after the race, IC socks, and a pint glass. Pretty cool stuff!