Words from Kyle and Brent: Straight from the Mouths of the Ironman

Words from Kyle and Brent: Straight from the Mouths of the Ironman

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Brent: Being only walking distance to the start and having so much help with us on the big island, it was a pretty "relaxing" race morning.  I was quite nervous so it was nice to not have any "added stress" on race morning.  I ate as best I could, tried to go to the bathroom and then readied myself for a nice walk to the swim start.

 Kyle: On October 13th, my day started at 3:45 AM Hawaii time, which is 9:45 Atlanta time. I quickly put sunscreen on and Vaseline to protect from the sun and from chafing. Once I got my outfit on, my caretakers, Melissa and Anna, started feeding me bananas and applesauce and I put on some praise music. Shortly after we did another coat of sunscreen, followed by a walk down Ali'i Drive. By then, Brent came out of the hotel and was a few feet ahead of us. Greg Smith, Anna and Mel were very close to my side. With tears in his eyes, Greg read our prayer with some of our group. Once our prayer was over, we hustled to the transition area to get prepared. We had about an hour and ten minutes until we were ready to go off. I put on yet another layer sunscreen and drank a bottle of water to prepare for such an unforgettable day. 

 Brent: Waiting to start was pretty hard for me.  I was a complete wreck by now.  Could we finish? Was the training enough? Would I make my family proud? So many thoughts rolling in my head.  It was making it all about me in that moment, but I couldn't help myself.  Once we went towards the water and I saw Kyle's nerves on his face, I knew we were in this together.  I looked over on the sea wall and it was a wave of KPeasey blue.  So many had traveled from all over to help us on this journey and they were all up early with us to bring us in.  We had this...we WERE together and we would find a way!  As the race start drew near, my eyes began to fill with tears, we had waited for a lifetime to share a stage like this.  Whether we knew it or not, we both wanted to share this experience.  One of the most special moments about a day like today is that Kyle makes ME feel like an athlete.  I was pampered all week with everyone helping me prep.  What age grouper gets that? What average person gets that?  Kyle makes me feel like every bit the athlete I try to make him feel like.  I thanked Kyle and before we knew it, the cannon was firing.  We were OFF and man were we moving.  I've never moved that fast with him.  I kept images of my family in my head, especially of my wife, who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to help make this dream a reality, and of the two young kids that made me a father.  Their strength carried us to our fastest swim yet!

 Kyle: I was ushered to the water by our friend Jason and my Dad. They put me in the kayak and a big wave hit me and spraying water in my eyes and on my clothes. Brent swam out to softer water and we waited our turn to start the race. Before the cannon sounded, Brent held my hand with tears in his eyes and said "Being your brother is one of the greatest joys of my life and I promise I will give you my all today.  Please give me your all too." I said, "You got it, pal!" We were off! As we went over the first set of waves, I felt a sense of calm through prayer. I navigated us through the water to a PR of 1:07. As we got out of the water, a wave came crashing over me again. Jason scooped me out of the boat and ran with me up the stairs to the shower to get all of the salt water off my face and body. 

 Brent: The bike is the equalizer, but the boys from Cannon Cyclery had worked long days and nights (literally), to get us a KONA-ready bike in less than 17 weeks.  The KONA course is no joke, and even with favorable conditions it was still HOT. Even the slightest of winds could push our speed to 6 mph.  With all the weight we dropped together, we were still going to need to push a combined weight of almost 360 lbs to the top of Hawi and back again before our cut off.  Kyle kept willing me forward, “Focus Brent. You're a beast, Brent. Think about your family, push those pedals...COME ON MAN!!! You CAN DO THIS.”  Together we pushed the bike forward and maintained our focus.  Together we got the bike back to transition with more than enough time to spare.  This was foreign territory to us.  We were so used to being against the cut line, we weren't sure if we should have a hamburger and relax or get out on the run course!! 

 Kyle: I put more sunscreen on, ate a quick protein bar, and we were off on the bike following an incredibly fast six-minute transition. Kona1, the anointed name of our bike, performed so well and was so resilient.  “She” stayed with us for over eight hours and went up and down hills with relative ease. My brother was a true champion, a figurative Ironman even before being blessed with the official title. Our word of the day, which we said over and over again, was "focus". I would whisper to myself, "Focus on the task" to keep myself and ultimately Brent, just that…focused. The bike was our greatest equalizer, but nevertheless, we found a way to focus and get through that extremely, long journey. We had a 5:50 PM cut off time, and through our strength and tenacity to reach our dream, we made it with an hour to spare. 

 Brent: The run was the hardest we'd faced in my opinion.  I was tired from the heat and the fastest bike split we'd ever put together.  I was feeling a bit bloated and had to keep finding porta-a-potties to try and relieve myself.  I stopped eating, couldn't drink...I was losing that focus.  Around mile 18, Kyle asked me to slow down and get what I needed.  Despite the conditions and how I was feeling we were still doing GREAT.  It is an Ironman after all. We took what we needed and started with one foot in front of the other.  Our friends were out on the Queen K Highway with us.  Willing us forward. Cheering with Kyle...”COME ON BRENT...COME ON MAN!!” WE both pressed forward.  So tired, so overjoyed at the experience, so overwhelmed by the support.  As Dale Robinson said to us before we left, "When you in the world championship, we all in the world championship!" WE were going to do this.  TOGETHER.

 Kyle: We knew if we could make it through the bike, then the run would be a celebration, and boy it was. We had to deal with the elements of the rain and the darkness, but we found a way together to get through each tough moment. As our coach told us, “Enjoy this moment.” When we got to the finish line, the crowd was deafening. And boy was it a glorification of Him! All of the hard work of the fruits of our labor paid off upon hearing the words "Kyle Pease, You are an Ironman!" People have asked, what is next? My answer is simple, whatever life has in store for me and the Foundation…that's what's next. 

 Brent: As we came to the finish carpet, we started to soak it in.  The noise grew louder, and louder, I could feel myself floating.  The pain was gone, the fear faded and together we jolted towards the finish. This was one line to savor with Kyle, one we would remember for all our days.  He was no longer in a wheelchair, he was no longer playing wheelchair sports.  He was going to be a WORLD CHAMPION.  As we crossed the line, Mike Reilly shouted over the microphone, "Here comes Kyle Pease.  Kyle PEASE, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN".  I was exhausted and yet I felt myself jumping in front of Kyle...sharing in his joy...looking at my brother...an Ironman World Champion.  

 As I found my way to the athlete's finish area, I started to realize how tired I was.  I slumped into a chair and tears started rolling down my face.  I never imagined that we would be here. There were days I doubted it would ever happen and I wanted to just stop.  Just like Kyle told us to focus on the course, we kept our focus forward throughout this journey.  There are so many to thank and I have a stack of thank you cards a mile high on my desk, but I want to just offer a few words to convey just how special this was.

 Mom & Dad: Thank you for working so hard to raise all of the Pease boys and to help us find our way. Thank you for being the most wonderful parents one could ask for.

 Erica: Not too many people would live in their parents’ basement with their kids for two years to help us reach our goals.  Sharing that finish line with you and our family was one of the most special moments of my life.

 Betty: Thank you for pushing us out the door in 2010 and for being the first to encourage us to take on this challenge and supporting us every step along the way.

 Greg: You are Ohana. Thank you for believing in our dream and helping so many others realize theirs.  Together WE Did.

 Matthew: You built two athletes for a race, but you supported us in so many other ways.  Thanks for being a friend and for making us better people first and foremost.

 Thank you to all the athletes of Dynamo, past & present, for helping create the team that we have and for being a part of each of these successes.

 A special thanks to everyone in this special tri community in Atlanta.  You are volunteers, pushers, athletes and most of all friends.  Thank you all for your cheers, your messages and everything to help make this day unfold in the most perfect way.

 And a special thanks to Danielle Grabol, who somehow managed to get more than 50 supporters, all of our equipment, fundraising support and every moveable piece in just the right place for race day.  Allowed us to "finish the drill".

 Many more thanks to follow to this amazing community we consider part of our Ohana. We are all brothers.

 Together WE Wheel, Kyle & Brent

A KPF Greeting from The Ironman World Championship in KONA

Day one in Kona was a special one for sure. There is an energy that they speak about on the island, and we felt it from the moment we arrived.

Brent went to the Kona Aquatic center for a short swim while I picked up a few supplies. We got to meet up with Betty early in the afternoon before driving the bike course. Betty has long been a friend to Kpeasey and was the first to push us towards Ironman. We are so excited to share the course with her!! 

After that, we spent some time previewing the bike course; looking at the winds, the hills and the BEAUTIFUL scenery! It will be a challenge, no doubt, but we will give the course everything we have come Saturday! 

We then had a sunset dinner with Betty, Ernie and Micki with a beautiful sunset as a special guest. It was like looking at a postcard. I am just so honored to be here and so excited at this unique opportunity for Brent and myself. 

We will try to write while we are here, but each day we have quite a bit planned. But an athlete at KPF said to us before we left:

“When you and Kyle go to the championship, we all go to the championship”

~Dale Robinson 

Our KPF family is extended all over this island and the energy we feel from them is felt all over Kona. We’d like to try and thank many this week. There are more than we can count with so many helping make this race a possibility. We will start with our KPF family. It started with our first athlete Jake and continued with each new athlete that joined our ranks. They all helped build this amazing community. They all will be in Kona with us this week. 

Thank you all for your trust, friendship and support. This week we all celebrate the accomplishment together. For Together WE Wheel!

Mahalo

Ready or Not (and we are ready)...Kona Here We Come!!

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Training has been an absolutely grind.  But it has been one that I have enjoyed immensely. .  Making time for everything, training like I have never trained before to get myself mentally and physically prepared has truly been "fun." At one point over an eight day span, I spent more than 25 hours on my bike, including plenty of saddle time with Kyle.  I will miss this when it's gone, but am so grateful for the health and opportunity to do this.  Cannot wait to test our bodies and minds come October 13th!!Together WE Wheel!! And now here’s Kyle….

-Brent

Only in my wildest dreams, did I think I’d experience the sound of the words, Brent and Kyle Pease. You are going to Kona. Sometimes if you believe in something strong enough, wild dreams do come true. Those are the very words I heard this past June is Raleigh NC when the Ironman Foundation surprised us with an invitation to Kona Hawaii for the Ironman World Championships on October 13.

During the past two weeks, we have hit the ground running and we have not stopped . We have practiced hours on end and have trained on our new bike which is sleeker, faster and more aero dynamic than our older model. Curtis Henry of Canon Cyclery and our talented pal Dave have created this model to take on the wind and the elements of Kona.


You can never be too prepared for what Kona may throw our way. We need to be proactive and ready for anything. Kona will no doubt test our mental; and physical abilities and we will give the utmost respect to the course, but I can tell you right now that Brent and I will leave everything, every ounce of energy out on the course.

All the training and all the hard work is in the rear view mirror and we are ready try to give it our absolute best on race day. We will take all of our Kpeasey family with us. They will be at the forefront of our minds when the cannon goes off on race day. Our good friend Dale sent me a wonderful text that read, “when you in the world championship {sic} we all in the world championship.” When this started in 2011 we would not have imagined carrying the energy of so many athletes with us to the Big Island! Truly, together we wheel, in action.

I am excited. I am overwhelmed. I am grateful. I am humble, to be on the journey with my brother, with my family, and most importantly with you; our fans and followers. We will carry your spirit with us for every mile, every stroke, every step and wheel that we take. 

It will be hard, but life is hard. As the saying goes, When the going gets tough; the tough get going and we will carry that mindset when ever we have a moment of doubt.

Thank you to all of our sponsors, family, caregivers, fans and supporters and everyone else too many to name for their support, dedication and commitment to help us show that where there’s a wheel, there’s a way. 

-Kyle

Post Script:

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TOGETHER WE WHEEL!!

And Now a Few Words from the Executive Director

  KONA OR BUST!!

KONA OR BUST!!

Checking in with less than thirty to go before the Ironman World Championships.  It has been a wild summer and we are enjoying as much of this grind as we can.  Not many times do you get to say you are preparing for a world championship race.

We just finished up our last long training weekend together logging more than 100 miles on the road between bike & run.  We will then participate in a transition walk through on Monday to make sure our team is all on the same page before we pack and ship our gear off to KONA.

The fundraising has been incredible and we cannot thank you all enough for stepping up to be a part of this journey with us.  With the race long since funded, we are aiming for the stars to create more opportunities for impact.  The fundraising will be used to purchase a new transport vehicle to assist athletes in getting to and from races, a new truck to accommodate our massive growth this year, two (2) job opportunities for disabled persons and to establish a van scholarship fund.

Triathlon and endurance sports were life changing for me.  It came to my life at a time when I was making adjustments to my life and trying to find more meaning in everything I did.  I had no idea that signing up for an Ironman would lead to so much and enrich my life immeasurably.  It has helped us to enrich the lives of so many beyond KONA and for many more miles to come.

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We look forward to celebrating all fall with you as we complete prep for KONA, send 19 teams to Washington DC for the Marine Corps Marathon and of course our annual bowling event.

Together WE Wheel!

Brent

KPF's J-Dude and Matt Booth Will "Never Give Up" During Ironman Wisconsin 140.6

KPF's J-Dude and Matt Booth Will "Never Give Up" During Ironman Wisconsin 140.6

While Kyle and Brent are busily preparing for the land of volcanoes and hula girls in Kona Hawaii, another team representing the Kyle Pease Foundation is training to cruise 140.6 miles through the land of Cheeseheads and Packer fans at Ironman Wisconsin. Justin "J-dude" Knight and Matt Booth will be heading to the great Midwest to compete in Madison, WI on September 9th. 

Matt will be completing the 2.1 mile swim with J-Dude and will be followed up by Micah Cotton, who will be completing the 112 mile bike ride and Fred Soller who will be accompanying J-dude on the 26.2 mile marathon. The quartet will need to complete the 140.6 mile event in under 17 hours (the cutoff time)  and barring a mechanical failure, should have no issue completing in that time period. 

Though not a triathlete myself, I was able to remotely "catch up" to J-dude, Matt and J-Dude's mama, Teresa, to ask about their training and preparation for the event before they head out to America's Dairyland.

Todd Civin TC: The race is Ironman Wisconsin 140.6, where Brent and Kyle really faced some challenges, why do you think you can complete this?

Matt Booth MB: We have three people as opposed to one, that's the biggest difference. Also, J-Dude likes to go fast, so we put together a team that can move quickly so he gets even more enjoyment out of the competition. 

J-Dude:  Because Brent and Kyle have shown me how to do Ironman.  The bike is the hardest.  A lot of things help me to do it.  I have got my strength up and I won't give up. 

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TC: How many races have the two of you done together and what number Ironman is this?

MB: I have done several runs with the KPeasey, but never a triathlon. I'm just doing the swim. This will be my first swim with either J-Dude or the KPeasey.

J-Dude:  I have done some training days with my team of Micah, Matt, and Fred but we have not ran races together.   This is my 2nd Full Ironman.  I did Ironman Florida in 2015.

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TC: How are you each training for this? How will your training change over the next months?

MB: I started a training plan in March and have stuck to it. Luckily, Maria Thrash is the Masters’ coach at Dynamo Multisport and she's keeping me honest. She's one of the best masters’ coaches in the nation, so I'm lucky to train with her. We have also done a "test run" at Lake Allatoona and will do an Olympic tri this weekend. Doing the Olympic is the only change between now and race day. Being a little more careful with nutrition and tapering slightly a few days before the event, but that’s it.

J-Dude:  A lot of my training is doing floor work exercises and stretches and using kettle-bells to get my arms and shoulders stronger.  I have also been riding my Freedom Concepts Bike - shout out to Cannon Cyclery for that!  I have been focusing on eating right and meal plans.

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TC: Who will be accompanying y’all to Wisconsin?

MB: Teresa, J-Dude , Micah cyclist, Fred runner, Ian Evans and I are going.

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TC: What do you see as the most challenging leg of it all and what is your strength?

MB: I lucked out and got the easiest portion; the swim.  It’s flat, cold, and hopefully an hour and 15 minutes long. The bike and run and very difficult, but I think the bike might be slightly harder. 

J-Dude:  THE BIKE!!!  The bike will be the hardest part -- 112 miles is a long way to go on that bike and by the end, my butt will be sore from sitting in the one position.  My legs kind of get stiff, too.  I am strong and tough and just like every day of my life when I face a challenge, I can do what I have to do to make it through!!!

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TC:  J-Dude -does this get old or more exciting each time?

J-Dude:  MORE EXCITING!!  It will never get old to me.  Because setting goals and reaching them makes me feel like I am living a good life!! And when people see me doing these big things, it helps them to know that anything is possible.

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TC:  What is your ultimate goal in racing?

I want to make to Hawaii to do Ironman. While I am getting there I want to help other people reach goals too, and live a happy life.

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TC: Matt, have you ever done Wisconsin before with or w/o J-Dude  and how will it differ? Any other Ironman races?

MB: I've never done an Ironman. I've done five half's, but never a full. Since I'm just doing the swim, I'll be able to go all out on the swim and that will be different. Obviously I've never pulled anyone before so that will add, but I've been training for that and the run through we did at Lake Allatoona went very well. 

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TC:  Where do we find your fundraising link and how is it going?

MB:  https://kyle-pease-foundation-inc.networkforgood.com/projects/53105-J-Dude -takes-on-ironman-wisconsin. It’s going well so far. The bulk of our fundraising will come from an event this coming weekend and we are almost where we were hoping to be going into that event.

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TC:  Have Brent or Kyle given you any words of advice?

MB: They told me not to suck and embarrass the foundation. No, Brent has been very helpful in giving lots of great advice.  Having been on the course before he has shared some tips on the race itself too.

J-Dude First of all DON'T GIVE UP... and have fun!!!  Work hard, train hard, and YOU CAN DO THIS ALL DAY LONG!

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TC:  Teresa, what is it like to see your little boy traveling around the country racing?

Teresa (J-Dude ’s Mama):  Wow, where do I begin!!!  Sometimes, it is hard to find the words to aptly express the emotions that I feel watching my guy participate and conquer any race, but especially an IRONMAN!  I am his biggest fan and cheerleader.  My heart swells with pride from the moment we pray over each race and I send him out with a mom kiss!  Knowing that what he is doing is not only boosting his self-confidence, but also being a light and helping others is an answer to a prayer that I prayed over him when he was born.  I can remember when he was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at age one.  As I held him and looked at him, I remember speaking over him: "This will not hold you back.  You will be great. You will do many things, you will be strong, you will accomplish your hearts' desires, and you will show the world that all things are possible".  Little did I know how these things would come to fruition! 

Through KPF, J-Dude discovered his gifts - our tasks as parents is to raise our children to be good, honest, caring people, who go out into the world and utilize their gifts to make the world a better place, and to help others.  Every time J-Dude rolls onto a race course, I get to witness yet another moment of him sharing his bright smile to touch someone's life and make it a bit better - THAT MAKES ME THE PROUDEST MAMA ON THIS PLANET! 

I would be lying if I said that I never get nervous/anxious about some races.   Example:   his first triathlon, I was a nervous wreck about him being in the boat... what if he falls out, what if he needs something, etc.?  I stood on the shore and watched anxiously as his partner pulled his boat out on the swim course and headed out......  I was a bundle of nerves until they were in the home stretch of the swim coming in and as I looked out onto the lake.... I see J-Dude laid back in the boat, one hand behind his head, with a thumbs up and a HUGE smile on his face - at that moment all those nerves went away and I knew he was on to something special!!! 

I could go on for days about how freakin' proud I am of my guy.   I am thankful for each day that I get to be his mom, and for every opportunity I can share with him in his efforts to accomplish great things and use those accomplishments to make this world a better place!  I look forward to future endeavors with my favorite guy!

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TC: How has competing with KPF changed all three of you?

MB: The old adage "You get back more than you give" is very true here. I've really enjoyed getting to know Teresa and working with J-Dude . It’s also been a spark to my training and fitness. I'm much more motivated to train for this than doing something on my own. When I think about the race, I think about getting out of the water and running to transition with all the fans screaming for J-Dude . He'll probably be giving high fives. I get fired up, I can't wait.

J-Dude:  Being with the Kyle Pease Foundation has changed my whole life!  I now have things to look forward to doing and places to go and people to see!!!  I have done so many things that I never even thought of being able to do.  I wrote a book, I get to travel, which I Love, I get to help other people when they may be struggling and they see the things that I have done.   I also have a job now.  I tried and tried to get jobs before and no one would hire me.  But now, thanks to KPF, I have a job and I love it!  It makes me feel good to have this to do.  I send out the tax letters to people who donate money to KPF.  I have run Marine Corp Marathon two times and doing it again this October.  I got to do the New York Marathon in November 2017!  I have met many new friends that will last a lifetime.  I love every one of them.   Kyle and Brent are like the brothers I never had.  They have helped me learn so much about myself, about life, about how to help others, and to NEVER GIVE UP!! 

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