Many Emotional Miles at IRONMAN 70.3 Florida

Many Emotional Miles at IRONMAN 70.3 Florida

It's 3:23 AM. Sun isn't nearly close to rising and yet I've been up for 20 minutes already.  "Didn't we just do this a few weeks ago?," I think to myself.   My alarm isn't even supposed to go off for another twelve minutes and yet I just can't go back to sleep. Even for the twenty minutes or so that I may have slept, I tossed and turned, flipped my pillow, kicked off my blankets. While my wife and daughter are sleeping  peacefully, I couldn't be more the opposite.  My first inkling is to skip the race and just hang out at the pool until the Masters coverage starts.  But the urge to punt subsides when I think of my brother sleeping next door.  It's been a LONG month for us both.  Between racing, training, racing some more and handling events, we both could use a little extra sleep.

Instead, we pull ourselves together and by 4:00 AM, we've started the van engine to make sure we can get to transition when it opens.  We don't start for another four hours, but parking and traffic are a problem and we want to make sure we minimize the stress as best we can.

Jim of Special Compass meets us at the race site at 4:30 and we just sit in the car and laugh to keep the mood light.  We could just stay here I think and treat this as a vacation day rather than braving the bulk of the day conquering 70.3.  We could relax, eat a couple bacon, egg and cheese sammies, drink too much coffee and then just head back to the hotel.  I know better and decide to get my race face on. Kyle decides to  sleep for just a few more moments.  My dad and I go and pump tires, check (and re-check the gear) and then head back to stage the boat.  Lee Strawbridge is waiting for us.  Lee was one of the first guys we met on this journey and we were glad he jumped in to lend us a hand today.  It's now 6:00 and I ask Jim, Lee & my dad to get the boat and pads set up for us by the water.  Kyle and I then just sit quietly in the car reflecting, not uttering a word.  

It's 6:45 and we are working our way to the water.  

"Our helmets", I panic...My dad runs to transition.  "Everything is there" he assures me.  The nerves are kicking in. I get a little more excited as the sounding of the horn grows nearer. I'm now glad to be up this early...ready to take on the day.

It's 7:05 and Kyle wants to get in the boat.  Enough waiting around. We'd rather go off first, but we are in the last wave, which means we will have to navigate through a little traffic.  When Kyle is settled in the boat, I lean in and whisper, "Today is for us.  It's a chance to do something we love doing together.  Smile today, Kyle, and smile often.  When it gets tough, you get my back and I'll get yours."

When it gets tough, you get my back and I'll get yours."

When it gets tough, you get my back and I'll get yours."

The gun goes off.  Our favorite Kayak Escort, Lisa, is right alongside us.  It's always great to have a familiar face to help you through the day.  We are swimming into the prior waves before I know it, turning into the oddly shaped course trying my best to keep the boat from drifting.  Kyle is shouting, screaming, coaching , motivating, urging me on.  My shoulder aches a bit and I pull harder.  My legs didn't feel great when I woke up so I try to keep my legs relaxed.  We are nearing the shore.  I touch sand and stand up.  Jim & Dad grab the boat.  Jim rips Kyle out of the boat and carries him up the beach.  We are getting sunscreen on Kyle, helmet, pads, nutrition in pockets and we are off.  My quads are already screaming.  "Be patient, Brent" I tell myself.  Kyle smiles back at me and puts his head down.

The bike starts to get hard as the winds pick up around mile 27/28.  By 33, I can tell it's going to be a long ride home.  I had told Kyle when the bike gets tough just count to 5.  The run we can count to 10.  He keeps asking for water, water and bananas.  I want to scream to relax, but his lips are already cracked a bit, his left ear a bit sunburned and he has been fighting the winds and roads too.  I give him more water and I give myself more calories as I see our speed start to drop.  I try to relax as we manage the course mostly to ourselves.  We haven't been over 4 hours in a half since New Orleans 2012.  The winds were brutal that day and we could barely pedal the bike.  "Focus", Kyle is yelling again and pushing me up a hill. 

One...TWO...THREE..come on Brent...FOUR..AND FIVE.  I wince. My legs are barking louder now and we've still got six miles to go.  "That's going to take 30 minutes," I think. Luckily it's a fun downhill to the finish and I tuck behind Kyle's head and yell over the wind that we need to get ready to run.  He just nods.  He worked hard to help get us here.  There is work to be done.

My legs are barking louder now and we've still got six miles to go.

My legs are barking louder now and we've still got six miles to go.

We take off on the three loop run trying to hold off the competition as best we can.  Competition is not something we are used to only because it's usually just one team per race. But it's fired us both up on the run.  We were smart on the bike.  Managed it as best we could, stayed patient in the wind and tried to stay diligent about eating and drinking.  We hit the run course and there are some hills to battle in the first two miles of each lap.  Kyle starts counting again...this time to 10.

At the top of each hill, we get ready to cruise down the hill to make up some time.  We want that finish.  Pretty soon all I can muster is a few grunts in response to Kyle.  I am worried I may not make it to the finish.  Betty's words are ringing in my head to push harder with each lap.  Kyle's voice is coming louder and louder now.   I hear the finish.  Just keep pushing and don't stop.

Kyle starts counting again...this time to 10. 1...2..3......7..8...9......10. 

Kyle starts counting again...this time to 10. 1...2..3......7..8...9......10. 

We are here.  I collapse. My wife helps me to my feet, placing my medal around my neck.  I hold her and the tears start coming.  I can't control it now.  Everyone goes out of their way to help Kyle and I compete.  Especially my wife and family.  I find Kyle and I can only sob and mutter "Proud."  The emotion of competing for 1 or 70 miles is always an ask of us both and I could not do it without you Kyle.  

Today was for us and for our enjoyment.  There was never a dull moment and only the opportunity to learn and pick each other up when we were down.

See you for the next one!

Inclusion and Smiles Shine at Publix Georgia Half Marathon

Inclusion and Smiles Shine at Publix Georgia Half Marathon

It was cold, like it was really cold. It was early, like 3:30 in the morning early. But just like any big race I was excited to be up at that hour and ready to battle whatever was ahead of me. I checked on Kyle, he was breathing heavily, deep in sleep. I almost didn't want to wake him as he was working his tail off just a few hours ago... but it was time for us to take on our biggest day yet for KPeasey. We were about to welcome 42 athletes and over 200 runners and volunteers to the Publix Georgia Half Marathon. THIS.WAS.BIG.

It took over an hour to pump up the chairs, we ran out of coffee and did we mention it was COLD?! But that didn't damper anyone's spirits. Everyone ran around in our bubble of organized chaos. Everyone was patient and everyone was ready to run. We are running to the line, no sprinting. We've taken a tad too long and it's time to go. We get there just in time for the national anthem, my favorite part. I hug Kyle, so proud, the horn blares and we are RUNNING! Together We Wheel!

Seriously they couldn't stop smiling and enjoying their day. So proud to see how far this has come, so thankful for those that have helped make this possible. A big thank you to The Atlanta Track Club for allowing us this opportunity. A giant thanks to Helen Gardner for her tireless efforts, David Gaynoe for inspiring donations with his generosity, Jim Blackburn for being up at 3 am (even before the rest of us), our board & families for allowing us to pursue this with passion. Too many to thank but we are here sharing this because of each of you and your kindness. Our hearts our full, our legs tired, and our minds eager for the next run. Until then, Where There is a Wheel, There's a Way!

Check out all the photos over on our Facebook page.

Ready, Set, Go as KPF Begins the 2017 Racing Season

Ready, Set, Go as KPF Begins the 2017 Racing Season

There is nothing better to heal the soul after a disappointing Super Bowl outcome than to kick off the 2017 Kyle Pease Foundation racing season. 

Despite the fact that the calendar still reads winter, Brent and I laced them up along with three other KPF athletes at the 2017 Hearts and Soles 5K in Decatur, GA on the Saturday before Valentine's Day. 

 Curtis Ward, Naomi Hicks and Aidan Jackson represented KPF along with Brent and me. We had a great time with full hearts and smiles from ear to ear. It was great to be out there as I love the first race of every race season. Despite the fact that it should be old hat by now, I still find myself with nerves and goosebumps prior to the start of the first race. 

And not that it is always about finishing times and PR's but Brent and I achieved our personal record for a 5K breaking 20 minutes for the first ever. Better with age? Perhaps. 

Now we turn our attention to Publix where the Kyle Pease Foundation has a record number 40 athletes toeing the line for the GA Publix Half Marathon. Over three dozen KPF athletes and nearly 200 volunteers will make this a virtual KPF party through the streets of downtown Atlanta. A regular sea of blue leading out the marathoners at 6:50 AM.  What makes this race so exciting for me is the fact that it is in our backyard and we get a tour of our beautiful city. It gives me a new round of goose bumps to see how far we have come since the launch of the the Kyle Pease Foundation.  It's not too late to sign up to join the Atlanta Track Club and all our friends if you want to try and catch us...

If you can't join us as an athlete or a volunteer for this great race, you can still participate by going on FaceBook and liking us or by making a donation to the foundation or to any of the athletes who reach out to you asking for your support.  

Stay tuned for news  and for info on the race, as well as, other exciting news in the on deck circle.  As always, Together We Wheel! Kyle

Through the Eyes of KPF: Kyle Shares His Thoughts On The Falcons Super Bowl

Through the Eyes of KPF: Kyle Shares His Thoughts On The Falcons Super Bowl

Kyle Pease of the Kyle Pease Foundation discusses pre-game strategy with Atlanta Falcons quarterback, Matt Ryan. 

I have been consumed with Falcons Fever….Can't eat, can't sleep, can't wait until kickoff...Rise Up in Brotherhood. Throughout the Falcons season, the team's major theme has been brotherhood. The bond of togetherness, the feeling of comradery and the desire to be there for one another is what has the team poised to compete in Super Bowl LI. 

In a recent story in the AJC, tight end beast Levine Toilolo shared, “It kind of started our season off, not only us getting work done on the field, but also getting that camaraderie and that brotherhood that we’ve kind of built here.” 

This really resonates with me as it mirrors the beliefs of the Kyle Pease Foundation. We are always there for each other to assist with whatever that may come our way. We are always there with a helping hand to make sure everyone is comfy in their chair before a race just as the Falcons huddle up before a play to make sure all out there on the field are comfortable with the play they are about to run. Two different teams...two winning teams...both with the desire to support one another to experience the feelings that accompany crossing a finish line.

Even though we play  different sports, we are both driven and inspired by a family dynamic. There is no I in Team....

There is no doubt that we will have challenges to get through and hurdles to get over while The Falcons take on the powerful New England Patriots. An Ironman has its own unique obstacles. We are athletes, just like the Falcons, hope to continue to win our own brand of championships through the Kyle Pease Foundation. Inclusion is our Super Bowl every race we compete in.

So line up for your fellow brother and continue to watch as Atlanta's finest: The Falcons and The Kyle Pease Foundation break down barriers and Rise Up to victory.

Brent and Kyle yuck it up during an interview discussing racing as brothers. 

Brent and Kyle yuck it up during an interview discussing racing as brothers. 

The Kyle Pease Foundation: The Best is Yet to Come

Hello KPeasey Nation,

We all enjoy the start of a New Year and the turn of the calendar page because it symbolically allows us to leave the negative in the year behind us. We are able to start fresh, begin anew and wipe clean the slate of anything and everything we choose to forget. 

But what happens when 2016 was so incredible that we want it to continue? The ride has been so wonderful that we never want it to end? The strides we've made and the things we've accomplished are so huge that we want to go on and on and on? 

Well, fear not. As much as we enjoyed 2016, there is not a doubt that 2017 will exceed it in every way. The year 2016 was merely a building block in the incredible organization we continue to build. The year 2016 was a phenomenal year that included a total of 53 athletes participating for KPF with 31 of them being brand new to the foundation. We hope to exceed such growth in the year ahead and are confident that this will happen. 

We have a full docket of races in the year ahead beginning in on February 11 in Augusta with "Dr Seuss is on the Loose 5k" and continuing in  March with The Charles Harris, which was my very first race in 2011 and in some ways was the catalyst for what we have become today.

Charles Harris will be followed by Publix, which will be bigger and even better than in past years with more KPF runners and more volunteers. 

Be sure to look at our website for latest races and updates throughout the year. And start looking for our blog on the website as we begin to phase out this in 2017. You will find new and exciting blog topics related to the foundation, including several guest blogs through out the year. 

15822714_1680621618630389_4353620838918485730_n.jpg

As always we are so grateful for our sponsors, our many volunteers and especially for our athletes and their families.

As we move forward we promise to never forget you 2016, but look forward to seeing what your younger brother has in store. 

Together We Wheel, Kyle