Greensboro, N.C. — Greensboro attorney Patrick M. Kane recently completed a 100-mile race along North Carolina's Outer Banks called The Graveyard 100, named for the countless shipwrecks that have occurred in the area. After running for twenty-one straight hours, Kane finished 12th out of 90 starters and only 66 finishers, which included elite runners from 18 states and five countries. And, he did it running in sandals.
The Graveyard 100 runs from Corolla to Hatteras via Highway 12 and ends literally at the end of the road on Hatteras Island with the finish line in front of the Graveyard to the Atlantic Museum. Kane started the race at 5 a.m. on Saturday, March 7 and crossed the finish line at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 8. His support crew consisted of his wife and two children, his father, step-mother, uncle, aunt and Smith Moore Leatherwood attorney Whit Pierce and his wife Courtney, who is training for a marathon. Members of his crew were able to meet him at designated spots along the route to offer food, water and encouragement. Plus, they were able to take turns running with him as private pacers during the final 50 miles of the race.
"The first 50 miles of the race, I only focused on getting to the next crew station, which were anywhere from five to nine miles apart," said Kane. "But I don't think I could have completed the entire 100 miles without my family and friends running with me and talking to me, which helped keep my mind occupied during the final 50 miles."
Kane's father ran the final four miles and finished the race with him. "That was a very special moment for me," said Kane. "And then on the way home, my six year-old son told me that he wants me to cross the finish line with him when he completes his first 100-mile race. Those moments were definitely the highlights of the entire experience."
To prepare for the race, Kane has run 1,734 miles over the last twelve months (he knows to the exact mile thanks to his GPS watch), including competing in five marathons and a 50kin the past three months. It's quite the feat for someone that had never run in anything longer than a 5k race four years before.
Kane grew up playing soccer and then switched to rugby in college and continued that for many years. It wasn't until he had to give up rugby in 2010 due to surgery for a ruptured disk in his neck that he took up running. He did a few 5k and 10k runs for fun, but never really thought it would go beyond that.
"I can remember thinking, I really have no desire to do a marathon or even a half marathon. I just didn't think I could since I don't have the typical body type of a competitive runner, "said Kane. "But then I started joining some friends on their runs as they were training for longer distances (including fellow Smith Moore Leatherwood attorney Erik Albright), intending to stop after a few miles, but instead, I just kept going. I never set out to become a long distance runner, but I enjoy both the physical and mental challenge of it, and I just kept challenging myself to see what I could do."
Kane completed his first half marathon in 2011. Soon after that he read Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, a book that inspired a minimalist running movement around the world, and everything changed, from his whole outlook on running to his diet and his shoes. In April of 2012, he started using running sandals, which are like flip flops but with an ankle strap, and has not used running shoes since. Two months later, he completed the first of three marathons that he would run that year.
In the last three years, Kane has completed 15 marathons, a 50K, a 50-mile ultra-marathon and now a 100-mile ultra-marathon. What's next?
"I'd really like to run the Boston Marathon," said Kane. "Qualifying for that will be a challenge for me since I'm not a fast runner. I'm really going to have to step it up. I'm also intrigued with the Badwater Ultramarathon, a 135-mile race across Death Valley. We'll see what happens."
Kane is a member of Smith Moore Leatherwood's litigation practice group and appellate practice group. He is the Atlantic Coast Collegiate Rugby League Commissioner and previously served as head coach of Wake Forest University's men's rugby team for nine years. He also started a boys' rugby team at Grimsley High School in Greensboro in 2014, and currently serves as head coach. Additionally, Kane serves in the Fathers Being Involved program at Brooks Global Elementary, where his children are students.
For more information, contact:
Brandy Humphries (Brandyh@hughes-agency.com)