My Name Is ________________ and I Race with the Kyle Pease Foundation

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What's up KPeasey Nation?  Well, we are gearing up for some huge events over the next several months but that doesn't mean we have come down from the emotional and physical high from our amazing race at the Publix Race. I keep replaying the numbers in my head and I'm beginning to feel a bit like John Nash in the movie A Beautiful Mind. Fifty-eight teams of athletes, over two-hundred volunteers, thousands of smiles and thousands of live positively impacted. That's an equation that makes me extremely proud. 
 
Watch and enjoy our video from the Publix Race and I think you'll know what I'm talking about.

Since then we have done several local 5K around the Atlanta community and we are gearing up to travel to Delaware to run the 2nd Annual Fusion Inclusion 5K at Christiana Mall on April 29th. We are excited to see our Delaware friends and family helping to raise awareness and raise funds for the Kyle Pease Foundation. 

As many of you may be aware, our family up in DE started their own version of Bowling with Kpeasey, our fun and exciting fundraising event held every year in November. This year, the Delaware version of the same will be held on April 27 and Brent and I are excited to be in attendance. We are excited to "knock a few down" with Paul, Abbey and the rest of the Delaware contingent.

Brent and I are gearing up for Ironman 70.3 in Raleigh NC to be held on June 3. This will be our first half Ironman event of the season and we are excited to shake off the rust and spend seven or eight quality hours of competition and bonding together.  

Speaking of bonding - this past weekend was the 4th annual Camp Wheel Away where we partnered with Camp Twin Lakes to enjoy a weekend filled with a wide array of inclusive activities. Among my many favorite events that we participate in, CWA is one of my highlights.  This was our largest group of campers to date with 17. It was a great turn out and people really loved the activities. Among my favorite moments was a new activity where campers played with slime. Messy but so much fun.  Another highlight was hearing Ricardo Aranda speaking about what KPF has done to enhance his life. It formed a lump in my throat that still hasn't gone away. 

We are getting ready for the Peach Tree Road Race on July 4 which is of course the largest 10K in the country. We will be stepping to the starting line with our largest group of participants to date. It is exciting to experience the growth and realize the acceptance.

Don't forget to look for our big summer gala and fundraising event at Chastain Horse Park in Atlanta. This was the therapeutic horse park where I first experienced therapeutic riding several years ago. This is sure to be the event of the year (and I got that right from the horses mouth).

Finally, we are taking applications for the Jake Vinson Family Grant. Please visit our website to get information and to apply for this year's award. 

Until next time, watch the video above and post on Facebook - My Name Is ________________ and I Race with the Kyle Pease Foundation. 

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The Kyle Pease Foundation Cans Some Memories at Publix

The Kyle Pease Foundation Cans Some Memories at Publix

Well if memories could be canned, those we experienced during the Publix Half Marathon would have no expiration date. What an absolutely incredible weekend it was. I cannot thank enough all those responsible for making the biggest event in our history a reality.

We all have good days and bad days. We all have days where we experience growth and other days where we face challenges. As a foundation, we need to take the Publix half marathon and put it into our back pocket to pull out at any time we need to expunge a bad day and replace it with incredible.

It will be a day that Brent and I will never forget. I’m confident it becomes a can of memories that will never expire.

From Friday night to the completion of the race on Sunday night, we were so busy. From getting chairs ready and to the starting area to making sure that everyone was comfortable and ready to roll, the entire behind the scenes operation, required a lot of attention to detail and great combined effort.

The banquet, which was held on Saturday night at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta was standing room only. The food was incredible and there was not a dry eye in the place. Everyone spoke from the heart and our race director, Helen Gardner, received a well-deserved standing ovation, while Brent and I exchanged mutual admiration for each other with standing O’s of our own.

It was the first banquet of this type with over three hundred in attendance and was the perfect acknowledgment of the fruits of our labor and a fitting thank you for all the hard work everyone put in.

All 58 athletes completed the race in flying colors and the KPF athletes had their own coral at the start of the race. This doesn’t usually occur, but was an example showing how we have truly arrived and been accepted as a key part of this historic race. It was simply inclusion at its best.

Our rally corner, located at mile 6.5 was standing room only and we could hear cheers of encouragement for miles as we were making our way around the corner.

Everyone who participated was honored to be a part of it. The foundation embodies what inclusion is all about and being accepted in such grand fashion was enough to make my heart beat right out of my chest. I have a goal of 90 athletes for next year’s race and feel that it is well within our reach.

Brent and I would like to take the opportunity to thank all of the sponsors and volunteers. Without you none of this would be happening. We’d also like to offer special thanks to the Atlanta Track Club to Helen Gardner, Danny Grabel, Ian Evans, Mike Ragan and Curtis Henry. Our since gratitude also goes out to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Champion Place, and the Titan Wheelchair Sports Program, all of who continue to make inclusion a reality in the greater Atlanta area.

And now a few inspiring words from my brother Brent: 

You have heard us boast of 58 wheelchair athletes, of triumphant finishes but none of that would be possible without the great partnership with the Titans Community Foundation & Rick Thompson.  They are doing amazing work and we were honored they asked to join us this year.  It allowed us to create awareness towards inclusion in a way we have never done before.

This race has turned into a massive undertaking for us.  We had 300 in attendance at dinner, 224 volunteers, 101 hotel rooms, 58 amazing athletes and 1 fantastic cause!  When I took my turn on the microphone I was overwhelmed at the site.  When this all started I don't think any of us realized the impact that Kpeasey could have, not just on those we serve, but on those around our organization.  Thank you to each of you for allowing us the opportunity to serve and for helping create the opportunity for inclusion.

The finishing photos are amazing and you can see more by clicking here: photos 

Camp-Wheel-Away is coming early this year during the weekend of April 6th. We are looking for campers to participate in this incredible weekend experience. Please reach out to Brent if you are interested in attending.

We are also currently accepting applications for the Jake Vinson Family Grant which will be awarded to a deserving recipient at our bowling event in November.

Our next official race will be the Peachtree Road Race on July 4th, the largest 10K in the world.

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.