Markley and George set out for the Laurel Mountains of Pennsylvania last weekend for the notorious Lion Heart. The Lion Heart is a 25 hour non-stop roller coaster. This race attracts solid teams that want to test their metal. Obviously, Team Crank stepped up to the plate and delivered a solid performance. The race was hot and humid, which led to dehydration and the typical mind battles of “why are we doing this” and the eventual elation of feeling invincible. The race started off with a long prologue where the team ran up a mountain to retrieve their passport and this was done in bike shoes, thanks Price Point and Sette for the shoes. Back on the bikes up the Baughman Trail for a steep technical climb on single track to the Sugarloaf Snowmobile Area. Once there it was a run straight down the mountain to the Youghiogheny River for some whitewater kayaking in duckies. The team enjoyed the break from being off their feet while navigating some class 2 rapids. Back in Ohiopyle the team jumped out and ran over to a railroad trestle and rappelled 150ft to the river bottom. Now is where the pain started to show it’s nastiness. The team began the torturous trek up the Laurel Highlands Trail. It was as if there was only two ways forward, either straight up or straight down. This ravaged the team’s legs, but spirits remained positive as they neared the Yough river again for a dusk swift water crossing. This was a sketchy piece of navigation to say the least. Markley and George embraced the swift water stance and slowly trodded across the Yough with rapids breaking around them. Every step was a leap of faith and eventually they made it across wet but determined. The team trekked back up the mountain to Sugarloaf to hop back on their bikes for a long ride through the night grabbing all optional checkpoints in the Sugarloaf area. After this was achieved and not many teams were able to grab all of the checkpoints, the team headed back down the gnarly single track at 4 in the morning to the transition area in Ohiopyle. The team ate a burrito that was delicious and jumped back on the bikes and headed back up, imagine that in this race, a mountain to retrieve another checkpoint and then began the bomber descent back to the finish. In the end Team Crank put in a most deserving effort of 2nd place in the Duo Division. Later, the team found out that they were only a hair from having first place. Markley and George were ecstatic with their performance and ventured over to the FireFly Grill in Ohiopyle for some fine eating. This makes 3 races Markley and George have done together. All 3 have resulted in podium finishes. George will be deploying to Iraq in November. Team Crank wishes him the best for a safe return and looks forward to racing with him in the future.