Gearing up for Publix with KPF

Gearing up for Publix with KPF

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Wouldn't be a Kyle Pease blog post if I didn't start it off with a top of my lungs shout of "Hello,  K-Peasey Nation!!!

We are gearing up for an absolutely ground breaking event and I can hardly catch my breath because I'm so excited to share the good news. When I started the foundation in 2011, I had lofty goals, but honestly, I never dreamed it would grow to this size. I have spent all of my life dreaming big, but in doing so I also believe in keeping my expectations somewhat real. 

Well, to be perfectly truthful, I never imagined that we would see the day that is soon to come upon us. The Kyle Pease Foundation will have 58 athletes rolling up to the starting line at this year's Publix Half Marathon to be held on Sunday March 18. With over 200 volunteers a virtual sea of Kpeasey blue will be soon throughout the streets of Atlanta. 

We have dreamed of this moment forever and have to pinch ourselves at the realization of this huge accomplishment. There will be countless events leading up to the race including a team dinner to be held with over 300 people in attendance. I'm overwhelmed and just can't wait to experience this momentous event with Brent and all the incredible athletes, volunteers and sponsors who make this all possible. . 

This past weekend we had first race of the year, The Hearts and Soles 5k. It's always nice to dust off the cob webs and embrace a new racing season. This first race had some added significance in that we were gearing up for the qualification for the Peachtree Roadrace.

This year in partnership with the Atlanta Track Club (ATC), we had to qualify for the world's largest 10k. We are super excited to be part of this ground breaking opportunity. Brent and I blazed the trail in 2013 as the first duo team to ever participate in this prestigious event. Now along with ATC. we have seen it grow to nine teams. Congratulations to the Walking with KPeasey AJC Peachtree Road Race qualifiers: Men: Kyle Pease, Justin Knight , Ricardo Aranda.
Women: Naomi Hicks, Katy Freeseman , Lizzie Kirskey. Mixed: Sherry Adams, Bently Grace, Kyliegh Kramlich. #TogetherWeWheel. This is a true life example of being the planters of a single seed, and like farmers nurturing, watering and continuing to work the soil, until our efforts germinate and grow into a precious flower. A virtual garden of inclusion. Thank you to the Peachtree, ATC and all responsible for supporting our message so strongly. 

 Stay tuned for more updates and news as we unveil some new programs and rejuvenate several existing programs as well. We are excited about what 2018 has in store and ready to gear up for everything that comes our way. 

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Kyle Shares His New Year's Resolution for 2018

Kyle Shares His New Year's Resolution for 2018

Three weeks into 2018 and though I'm a bit late in blogging it is never too late to wish everyone a Happy New Year. So happy, my friends, to welcome to a brand new year. A year that will undoubtedly become the best ever for the foundation.

We have scheduled many events, including some very exciting new races as well as some we would choose to never miss. Like reacquainting with an old friend we enjoy returning to the events that have grown along with the Kyle Pease Foundation. Our numbers at the Publix Race this spring, for example, have gone through the roof and are indicative of the growth of the foundation. 

We will also be rolling out some very powerful inspirational tools that will set us up for success and though I'll hold off for now on sharing these I am positive you will hear more in the coming blogs (also known as a big market tease). 

Visit our website for the latest race schedule as our updated 2018 schedule is on the site

As we embark on this exciting year ahead I thought I would share my view on the always popular topic of New Years Resolutions. I choose to never have resolutions but choose to have goals instead. Like many, I simply don't keep a resolution. A goal is attainable while a resolution is something we usually forget about. There is passion in a goal. One is an idea and the other is a carefully orchestrated plan for success that we can put into action. One a fantasy; the other a commitment. The goal for KPeasey is built through every step every; every wheel and every mile. And though it is our goal in 2018 it hasn't changed since the inception of KPF; "To create awareness and raise funds to promote success for persons with disabilities by providing assistance to meet their individual needs through sports." 

And we will continue to reach for that goal into the the future because as you know, "Where there's a wheel there's a way". 

~ Kyle

The Kyle Pease Foundation Blasts Through the Tape as 2017 Rolls to a Close

The Kyle Pease Foundation Blasts Through the Tape as 2017 Rolls to a Close

Hello to everyone in KPeasey Nation.  Well as the calendar is about to flip to another year and your local bank or insurance company is about to send you a replacement, I thought it would be fitting to recap some of the highlights of what his been a magical and incredible 2017. 

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The past six weeks especially have been busier than ever before as we were filled with many events that took us out of our home base of Atlanta and allowed us to spread the message to several other regions of the country. One of our goals for 2018 and the future is how to share the Kyle Pease Foundation with a more wide spread area and this fall was certainly a glimpse into what the future of KPF may hold. 

Our fall season began in October at the Marine Corps Marathon where we had fifteen teams start and finish the 26.2 mile trek known as the People's Marathon and people, let me tell you. It was an incredible event. 

Our athletes rolled through the streets of DC with all of the famous monuments in the backdrop as thousands of fans cheered them on through the streets of the Nation's Capitol. The statue of Iwo Jima, Lincoln and Jefferson Memorial, the Washington Monument, the dome of the Capitol building and of course the Pentagon and the White House symbolically rooted our athletes on and made each of us realize how lucky we are to be part of a nation where inclusion is not only accepted but it cheered for. 

As we celebrated the triumph of that weekend, we moved into Camp Wheel Away, our annual camp which allows those with disabilities to participate in many assisted activities that they may otherwise not be exposed to.  This was an incredible weekend full of great camp activities, shared with many new friends and potential future KPF athletes. 

Next came a ground breaking weekend of sorts where we had three different teams competing in three different locations around the country. I was in Savannah GA with two athletes who were running the Savannah Marathon, while three racers were over a thousand miles away in the Big Apple competing in the NYC Marathon. Our executive director, my brother, Brent completed his 9th Ironman representing KPF in Panama City. One day, several racers, three locations all wearing KPeasey blue and sharing the message of acceptance and inclusion. 

What a groundbreaking year it has been. From having 42 athletes compete in the Publix in March, to Brent and I competing in Ironman Boulder, CO to everything in between. It was a banner year for the Foundation and prepares us to catapult in to a very exciting year ahead. 

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And don't forget bowling with KPeasey was another huge success.  The eighth edition was amazing to be a part of as hundreds of fans, friends and family enjoyed bowling, good food, good fellowship and fundraising. Congratulations to Cougar Clifford, who was awarded the Jake Vinson Award and to Justin Knight  for collecting the coveted Broken Wheel Award. Another congratulations to Lauren, Marin and the rest of the Greg Smith Family for the release of "We Wouldn't Have it Any Other Way," the third children's book in our "Where There's a Wheel, There's a Way Book Series. 

I would be remiss if we did not think all of our sponsors, donors, supporters fans and most of all the athletes and their families. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Words cannot express my gratitude for each and every one of you. 

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Marathon, Inclusion and TOGETHER WE WHEEL!!

On the week leading up to America's most prestigious race, The Marine Corps Marathon, I can't help but be reminded of what inclusion is all about. We are a country that was built on inclusion. Inclusion of people from other countries, inclusion of our ancestors, inclusion of the strong and the weak, inclusion of those different from ourselves and of course, inclusion of those with challenges. We are strong, we are courageous and as a Nation, we are better together than we are apart. 

2016 as the President looks in at our athletes

2016 as the President looks in at our athletes

 

As our athletes run and roll through the Nation's capital it is important to reflect on these thoughts and ideals. This week is all about raising awareness to the people of the United States and to share the message of what the Kyle Pease Foundation is all about.  We look forward to the opportunity of running by some of the biggest monuments with some of the most historical importance in our country's long and incredible history.  Monuments such as the Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Memorials and of course the Iwo Jima Memorial, which sits in the distance at the start of this incredible athletic event. 

Sometimes looking on is more fun than racing (sometimes...)

Sometimes looking on is more fun than racing (sometimes...)

 

We will have a full recap of the MCM in the next couple weeks as nearly a dozen KPF teams will compete in the People's Marathon this weekend. There will be no rest for the weary. As soon as we get back from DC we head straight to Camp Wheel Away, The New York City Marathon and the Savannah Half Marathon. The Flag on the top of this month of celebration takes place at our annual Bowling with K Peasey Fundraising event on Sunday November 12th. Here we will announce the winner of the Jake Vinson Family Grant along with the launch of our newest children's book in the Where There’s a Wheel There’s book series entitled, "We Wouldn't Have it Any Other Way" written by our own Lauren Smith (daughter of Greg Smith) and our content curator and author Todd Civin. 

Miles, smiles & INCLUSION!

Miles, smiles & INCLUSION!

 

As always, Together We Wheel, Kyle

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KPF and a "Pair of Justins" Learn Much During the Augusta 70.3

I've learned so much since we decided to start The Kyle Pease Foundation just six short years ago. The birth and subsequent growth of KPF has been similar to having an infant child. You care for it, you nurture it, you learn from it and teach it. You care about it more than you care about yourself. And when your precious child succeeds, nothing feels better.

When our athletes experience the taste of competition and the flavor of success, my chest swells with pride. Our athletes are inspiring to me and that was on full display this past weekend in Augusta. Justin Dugan and JDUDE showed perseverance thorough out a very difficult Augusta 70.3. They experienced the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat all within one race. Victory in their decision to compete; defeat in their inability to complete the race. Results are not why we started KPF.  We started KPF to show the world that "Together we can and TOGETHER WE WHEEL". Thank you to the volunteers , the countless supporters, parents and the ATHLETES. Thank you Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

-Kyle

And now some inspiring words from Justin Dugan himself following the Augusta Half Ironman. 

I've been trying to process a lot of thoughts about our race in Augusta. Most of all I want to thank you. For many things. All of you extended yourselves over and over for Justin and I. I was able share some special memories with you all.

I learned a lot about myself out on the bike course, both while struggling to keep that bike moving as well as when we couldn't get it going any more. It broke my heart. I sacrificed a lot for this race, time with my newborn son and family, work events and time working on my house.  I felt failure.

Throughout the weekend and after it, I think I learned a lot more about the foundation, inclusion and more importantly the team of people that came to support and work hard for Justin and I.  You guys were my Rocks! I can't even put it into words that will do it justice.

Hearing about how "we did it" so many times right after having my chip taken off was hard to hear. I felt like I failed all the people I asked for donations, all of you and everyone that was cheering us on. I felt like I didn't live up to my end of the bargain. But now, after letting it all sink in I can see the impact we had. Justin is an amazing Man and he handled this race so well. He kept checking on me and making sure I was okay. Even after the race was over. I'm lucky to have been able to share the course with a friend like him.

I have written and rewritten this post already a bunch of times and know that it will not have everything I want to say and need to express. The best I can do is thank all of you again. Throughout the weekend all of you were there for us. When Justin needed someone or something it was done! And even when I needed something it was handled just as quickly and with as much care.

When I've asked Brent about how I can find the motivation to do this because we aren't brothers, like he and Kyle, his response was "Out here, we are all brothers." I think that is what I learned, because I don't know if I believed him when he said that. We were a family out there. We had highs and lows and we were all in it together. We were brothers (and sisters).

We did it. We were there. And just like every other athlete there, we had a shot at finishing. We dealt with problems just like every other athlete has to deal with. And we faced defeat like every athlete has to. We showed that it is possible.

-Justin Dugan