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.