Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Opinion

August 31, 2013

Triple feat

Mother, son and friend all complete Ironman Tiathlon

ASHLAND — For many of us, Sunday is a day of rest and relaxation. Some spend the morning attending worship services and Sunday school at their church, while others take advantage of a day off work by sleeping late. Many spend their afternoons playing golf or watching sports or movies on TV. Some return to church for Sunday evening activities.

But for 54-year-old Patty Lane and her son Ross Lane of Flatwoods and his friend Ross Turner, Sunday, Aug. 26, was about as far from the above described activities as one can get.

On that day. the trio successfully completed the Louisville Ironman Triathlon. In so doing,  they earned the admiration of scores of other part-time athletes who could never imagine doing what they did.

Beginning at around 6 a.m., the trio swam for 2.4 miles against the current in the Ohio River, and then got on their bikes and pedaled for a grueling 112 miles. While that would be more than enough to exhaust 99 percent of us, the three completed their day by running a marathon, or 26.2 miles.

And they all did it in well under 17 hours, the maximum time required to complete all three events.

Patty Lane finished the long day of swimming, biking and running in 13 hours of 45 minutes while Ross Turner, a 25-year-old pharmacy school student, finished with a time of 12 hours and 54 minutes.

 Perhaps because he is the youngest of the trio at 18 and is preparing for his first season as a cross-country runner at Georgetown College, Ross Lane had the fastest time of the trio, finishing in 12 hours, one minute and 30 seconds. 

While Ross Lane finished more than an hour and 40 minutes ahead of his mother, that takes nothing away from Mom. Anyone who knows Patty Lane knows that she has been in tiptop physical condition for most of her life. While completing an Ironman Triathlon at any age is impressive, we’re not the least bit surprised that Patty Lane can do it in her mid-50s. In fact, Sunday was the second time Patty Lane had completed an Ironman event, and last October, Ross and Patty Lane competed in a Half Ironman Triathlon in preparation for going the distance Sunday.

To make Sunday’s feat even more impressive, the temperature hovered near 90 for much of the day, and for the last 13 miles, Patty Lane was hampered by a blister on her foot. It was painful, but she never stopped running. That’s not her style.

All three of them said the exhilaration at the finish line, with friends and family cheering for them, made it a worthwhile venture. And they all said they wanted to do it again.

“It’s just the atmosphere when you finish that last mile,” Patty Lane said. “It’s incredible. ...”

When it was over, Ross Lane said “it was the happiest moment of my life. It was unreal.” Several of his friends from Russell High School and new college friends greeted him at the finish line with cheers.

Turner experienced the same euphoria at the end of the Ironman. “It makes it all worth it when you cross the finish line there,” he said. “I retired from the sport seven times during the marathon. I questioned my sanity and wondered why I’d pay money to do that.”

As for the next Ironman, the Lanes and Turner say they’re looking at registering for an event in Chattanooga, Tenn.

We’ll be rooting for them — but from the sidelines. We could not imagine even beginning to achieve such a feat, which only increases our admiration for those who do.

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