Your Neighbor: Meet Chris Lane

Published 12:05 am Thursday, June 15, 2023

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By Mandy Haggerson
For the Clemmons Courier

Chris Lane called Michigan home during his childhood and time as an undergraduate at Albion College.

After graduating summa cum laude with a bachelor of arts degree, Lane was very interested in attending school to obtain his juris doctor degree and master of business administration. After extensive research, Lane found Wake Forest University’s program to be the perfect fit.

“I’ve been here ever since,” Lane said.

Excelling in their program, Lane graduated with honors again.

Knowing that he had really enjoyed the Winston-Salem area, Lane decided to stay in North Carolina. Lane was offered a job at Womble Carlyle immediately after graduation.

“It was a great place to start, with a lot of bright people and tremendous resources behind you,” Lane said.

Later, wanting to use some of the business side of his joint degree, Lane moved on to work for the McElwee Firm in North Wilkesboro, primarily as corporate counsel for the textile company Ithaca Industries.

“I really enjoyed working on the diverse issues Ithaca faced,” Lane said. “I also enjoyed living in North Wilkesboro, as a change of pace from Winston-Salem, although I still visited Winston all the time for Wake Forest sporting events and other things.”

Eventually, as the textile industry slowly vanished, Lane came back to Clemmons to hang out his own shingle.

“Life as a solo practitioner has its challenges because there is no one else to ‘fill in’ when needed, but the flexibility and having to answer only to yourself is great,” Lane said.

Lane hopes to have a second career as an elementary school teacher, but the timing has not worked out as of yet.

“I am reminded frequently by a couple of recent country songs that you should ‘do what you love and call it work,’ and also ‘don’t wait,’ because time goes by faster than you think,” Lane said.

So, Lane, who is 58, is hoping the right time is sooner rather than later.

With Lane’s career established, he made sure to take time to balance it through running.

“I started running marathons in 2002 and have been at it ever since,” Lane said.

Currently, Lane has completed 84 marathons in 39 states.

“It is kind of a thing to try to complete a race in every state, so I am hoping to make that happen,” Lane said. “Lord willing, I’ll do Hawaii as the 50th state, and it will also be my 100th marathon, and the whole family will be there.”

Lane, who met his future wife, Melissa Kelly, through a running group, helps make the sport even more enjoyable.

“Melissa was a decorated runner at Western Guilford and is tough to beat, although I strive to do so to avoid having to be reminded of the times she has finished ahead of me,” Lane said. “One of the best things about running is that Melissa and I can do it together.”

Although, once they had children — Kenzie, 10, and Sierra, 9 — it made the racing frequency a bit more challenging.

“It’s harder with young children, but we try to run together when we can,” Lane said. “Before kids, we ran a lot of races together.”

One of their most memorable races was the Juneau, Alaska, marathon on their honeymoon in 2009.

“It was a beautiful course, with only a few hundred runners in the race, so people were stopping briefly to take pictures along the way,” Lane said. At one point, a bear crossed the racecourse about a quarter mile in front of the Lanes.

“That was kind of unique,” Lane said. “We stopped and looked at each other for a second, then forged ahead, keeping in mind the old adage that you don’t have to be faster than the bear. You just have to be faster than the person the bear is chasing.”

If not traveling for a race, Lane enjoys visiting his older son Sawyer, 27, who lives on the road in a camper with his fiancée.

So, Lane and the whole family enjoy visiting Sawyer at whatever paradise he is visiting.

The family has recently traveled to Tahoe, California; Frisco, Colorado; St. George, Utah; and the Adirondacks in upstate New York.

“The girls love to see their brother, so we try to track them down as often as we can,” Lane said.

Sawyer is also a ski instructor, so he has been able to teach the girls to ski, something the whole family can do together.

Having kids in the active phase of life plays a big role for Lane right now as their cheerleader. If not participating at their church, Clemmons United Methodist, where Melissa is a Girl Scout troop leader, they are doing something athletic.

“Kenzie and Sierra are on the Bermuda Run Barracudas swim team and love the meets against different pools in the area,” Lane said.

Both girls play soccer, and Truist Fields are conveniently across the street.

Kenzie has learned tennis from Coach Bill, and the whole family is mastering the game of pickleball together at Bermuda Run.

“We love it here,” Lane said.

The kids really enjoy taking the golf cart to the pool and onto the golf course at dusk to let the dog (Julia) run wild.

“It has the small-town feel, and the kids can wander as they please in the neighborhood and down by the river,” Lane said. “We really are lucky to be here, and I’m lucky Wake Forest let me in 34 years ago.”