Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

June 23, 2014

19-year-old using his athletic ability to spread word of God

RUSSELL — It all started two years ago when Ross Lane was denied the opportunity to attend a mission trip to Uganda.

Lane just finished his junior year of high school and planned on going on a missions trip to Gulu, Uganda, with a group from his church, including his father, John Lane. They were to spend several weeks working with orphans and building a church structure.

Lane had gone through six months of preparation. He had taken all of his vaccination shots and his church and community were backing him.

Needless to say, when he got to the gate and they told Lane he could not go because of an expired passport, it was not the happiest moment.

According to Lane’s mother, Patty Lane, “It had gone through the visa people, the mission leader, and it just sat there on the table. Because he got it so long ago nobody realized it expired.”

But, as the saying goes, when one door closes, another opens. And Lane did not hesitate to go through.

After being unable to attend the missions trip, Lane went to Maine with his mother, and while there they competed in an adventure course in the Portland shipyards in which he finished fourth. It was Lane’s first taste of the endurance race circuit, and from then on he was hooked.

When his senior year at Russell High School came around in the fall, he joined the cross country team, along with the track team.

“My senior year of high school, I started taking running and triathlons very seriously,” he said

He was later signed to Georgetown College for cross country and track and field.

Recently, the 19-year-old decided to use his athleticism to help raise money to go toward the Uganda mission.

“I figure I need to do my part,” Lane said. “I need to give them support even though I am not able to go.”

Lane will go and speak to churches and ministries.

“This is my way of helping out the church and helping out the ministries going on the trip, and spreading the word of God. That’s what I want,” he said.

He spoke with his home church, Advanced Methodist, two weeks ago. It was his starting point.

“My mom’s church outside of Lexington plans on having him go there soon,” his mother, Patty, said.

His mothe believes this is where her son wants to start.

“I think it is good. His major right now is exercise physiology, which I think is a perfect fit,” she said. “Starting slow and speaking to different churches is his plan.”

Lane said a major reason he wants to give to the missions in Uganda is because of his own blessings.

“I know there are so many people out there who don’t have what I have and who need facilities. Kids are orphans and do not have parents or anything,” Lane said. “Their life is really hard and I just want them to be able to live a better life than what they have been living.”

According to Patty, the nice thing about their Uganda mission is it is already set up for nonprofit status. The money is going straight to the missions.

“It makes it even more special knowing that you are giving to a bigger cause. It’s a blessing to get up in the morning and to be able to feel good,” she said. “If you read about Uganda and the Congo, so many parents have been killed, there are all these orphans over there and I think it is kind of close to Ross’ heart.”

Lane was unable to attend missions this year because of the mother-son duo being signed for an Ironman triathlon in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, that takes place on June 29. The missions group left Wednesday, along with his father.

  “I wasn’t able to go this year because we paid in advanced to go to this race. I was running cross country at Georgetown and the coach wanted me to pick a race at the beginning of summer.”

According to Patty, they picked this race based on the time frame without knowing much about it.

“Then we found out the water temperature could be 55 to 65 degrees.” Patty said. “I’ve never swam in water that cold before, so we’ll see.”

They will begin their Ironman event with a 2.4-mile swim, followed by a 112-mile bike course, and finally they will race a 26.2-mile marathon, all in succession.

According to Lane, he has had some trouble training for the upcoming triathlon, but knows he should be able to finish the race.

“I need some more experience before I really take it serious and try to qualify for the world championship,” he said.

The Ironman world championship takes place in Kailua, Hawaii.

According to Lane, running and riding a lot every day helps in training, as well as a healthy diet, getting the right amount of sleep and avoiding things that distract too much.

“Ironman is definitely a lifestyle in all the preparations you take,” Patty said. “What you do each day in preparation for the event is crazy.”

Patty’s sister is flying to Idaho with the duo to cheer them on.

“You could not do one of these races without knowing you have somebody there, supporting you and carrying your stuff,” Patty said.

Lane and Patty participated in an Ironman triathlon in Louisville last fall with their good friend Ross Turner. They could not wait to do it again.

Lane does hope to one day participate in a missions trip to Uganda with the church group.  “I’m just wanting to give to other people who are in need.”

Patty hopes to start a triathlon training program in the fall for anyone with aspirations to compete.  “It’s great to bring more people to this sport,” she said.

MARY ALFORD can be reached at malford@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2657.

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