One of my favorite parts when watching a
concert is when the lead singer refrains from singing, holds his microphone out over
the adoring crowd and lets the audience shout out the words to the band's hit
song. There is something magically exciting and refreshing when the fans shout out the lyrics
to a familiar hit song.
So following last weekend's incredible
Publix Georgia Half Marathon, where we were blessed to have 28 athletes and over
100 volunteers cruising the streets of Atlanta wearing KPeasey blue, it seems
equally exciting and refreshing to turn the blog over to the athletes and their families and revel in
the words and feelings of their personal experiences.
Before I turn it over completely, however, Brent and I, along with the Kyle Pease Foundation Board want to thank everyone who participated in making this the high water mark to date of the Kyle Pease Foundation brief history. As is always the case after a big weekend like this it takes me a few days to finally come down from the high we all rode. And what a special weekend this was. The growth of this event and the growth of our crew at the starting line is a testament to each of you. Whether this was your first Publix with us or your fourth, we thank you all for joining us!
What we saw in the starting corral at 6:40 on Sunday morning was built by all of you. Your trust, your courage and your faith in proving that where there is a wheel there is a way was seen in a sea of blue!!
We cannot thank each of you enough for your dedication to our mission and we look forward to sharing the road with you again soon.
-Brent and Kyle
I am overwhelmed with gratitude for each and every one of you. Today. Was. PERFECT. And you guys made that happen!!
I can't thank Brent & Kyle enough for allowing me to be a part of today. Gotta say, looking back at a sea of blue at 6:50 this morning had to have been one of the most joyful moments of my life!
- Until Next Time...Helen Gardner
Today was my husband and
my first time as push assists. We had the honor of being a part of Team Destiny
and Team Sherry. This experience has forever changed the way we run. Being a
part of something so much bigger than ourselves and helping athlete's and family's
dreams come true was, to say the least, life changing for us. We are so
grateful for organizations like Children's and The Kyle Pease Foundation that
make it all possible. #togetherwewheel.
-Thank You! Emily Stoniecki
Today, I rode my bike in the Georgia half marathon with the Kyle
Pease Foundation. The Kyle Pease foundation is a group that helps people with disabilities. We got put up in a hotel by them yesterday afternoon. It was so awesome. They also provided dinner for all of the runners and I met my runners at dinner. I had four girls who ran with me. Kyle and Brent (his brother) talked at the dinner. There were 28 wheelchair athletes who were being pushed. There were a lot of runners. There were a lot of people cheering me on the way. It made me feel awesome, normal and good about myself.
Thought for the day: Where do I start?
hearing Rebecca cheer for her mom to run faster
stopping in the highlands so Sara and Bill could cheer and hug Rebecca and Marjan, awww
the five of us crossing the finish line together smiling, laughing and ready for more.
struggling at miles 10-11 and realizing that my struggles are nothing compared to what the Holbrooks deal with daily.
Nothing can describe how wonderful it is to see what the Pease Foundation does for children like Rebecca. I can say wholeheartedly that throughout the years, I've seen Rebecca at her best and her worst. Rebecca's at her best during these events; when we're pushing her at these races and she's smiling and cheering and yelling "runner/wheelchair back" in her own special Rebecca way, and at her worst when I'm caring for her in the hospital and watching the KP joyful paradox is indescribably wonderful. Bless the Pease Brothers/family and all those who are involved that help make these special moments and dreams come true.
Sincerely, Gary Harris, RN, BSN
I knew this was a worthy cause, but being a part of the actual race will change the way I look at racing as well as those with disabilities. We met some amazing people that have battled the odds to cross that finish line.
A special thank you to our Captain, Matthew and his mom, Karen. They made the long trip from Rome, GA away from the comforts of home on Saturday to be ready for the race on Sunday. With a 4:45 AM time for departure from the hotel, it was a long day for all.
Matthew did great. He loved the crowd, the sun (at the end), the cheering, the music and especially the speed bumps and potholes. At first we tried to avoid them, but then saw him laugh and smile when we did hit them, so we kept on hitting them. His laughter lit up the course and was infectious to those who ran near us. The picture I have included shows just a taste of his amazing smile. We finished strong as a team, got our medals and have already discussed plans for next year.
I can't thank you enough again for your donations. Please contact me if you would like to hear more about the race or the KPF.
Thanks, Matt Harrison
I was able to catch up with Brent at the finish line, but didn't see you to tell you thanks personally. I cannot thank you and Brent and Kyle enough...the entire experience - pre-race communication, fundraising, the race (both Saturday's pre-race events and Sunday) was absolutely perfect. For me, this was by far the most fulfilling race experience I've ever been a part of...truly life changing to push Matthew with Larry and Matt and watch him grinning. I tear up and get chills just thinking about the joy that was on his face the entire time. We already asked Karen if we could push him for next year's race.
THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO. Cannot wait to participate in more events with you guys!
I've heard Brent say that "I loan Kyle my legs, and I use his spirit." -and I truly understood that yesterday, pushing Hank Poore in his chair. No matter if it became windy at times, or a little cold or hot, Hank never let up-pedaling the entire way (making our jobs easier with his constant work!), sharing with us the sheer joy he felt to be out there, and inspiring us to keep going.
I had worried that it would be much more difficult to run a half-marathon, while pushing a wheelchair. In fact, although I may have done the physical pushing, Hank was the one who pulled us through, all the way to the finish line, with his indomitable will.
Darria Long Gillespie
Yesterday was so awesome. My favorite part was when, en masse, our whole group started making our way to the start line and a large group of runners waiting in the port-a-john line spontaneously started applauding as we passed. That made me so happy.
Standing at the starting line, I felt like I was part of something big. Part of a movement that is going to grow and grow. I've done over a hundred races that were all about me, but it's way more rewarding to run for a cause like KPF and I look forward many more. Kyle is a hero of mine and I am so lucky to know him.
-Cordially, Scott Stafford
Thank you all for one of the most memorable experiences of my life. The smile on Matthew's face during the race was something I will never forget and the other athletes I met along the way will be in my thoughts every time I go out for a run. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help in the future!
When I first learned about the opportunity to participate in the Georgia Half Marathon as a pusher, I immediately thought of my cousin Trevor. Trevor spent all nine years of his life between his bed and his wheelchair, with his view of the world largely confined to what he could see from his bedroom or out the car window. To think of what this opportunity could have meant to him, not to mention his parents, made the opportunity to push Sherry that much more special for me. In my nearly eight years at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, I’ve been fortunate to play witness to some intensely humbling and emotionally charged moments. Sunday’s race afforded me a unique opportunity to be a part of such a moment, and it’s a feeling that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I am grateful to Sherry and her family for trusting in our team to get her across the finish line, and I am in awe of the people who give tirelessly of themselves to make such experiences possible for both the in-chair athletes and those of us blessed enough to be among the pushers.
Manager, Social Media and Content
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
Kyle, Brent, and Helen,
I submitted the survey but I also wanted to personally thank you for
letting me run with you guys this weekend. It was an amazing race and an amazing experience. I loved running with Curtis and my team. I know everyone is still coming down from the craziness of the weekend but I wanted to let you guys know that I'd love to run with y'all again at the Peachtree Road Race if there's a spot on a team available. I'd much rather run with someone again and have a blast than hope to get selected in the lottery to run by myself. Also, I've been talking you guys up here in Augusta trying to get some other runners interested in joining the team. Take care and I hope see and run with y'all again soon.
Among the hundreds of unforgettable moments we have experienced since the birth of the Kyle Pease Foundation, in a mere 48 hours we will be in the midst of experiencing the Grand Daddy of them all.
When the starter's pistol sounds on Sunday morning, Publix Georgia Half Marathon, 28 KPF athletes and their volunteer will be crossing the starting line, representing the largest contingent of half marathoners to ever don KPF blue. That's right, over two dozen athletes and nearly 100 volunteers will be rolling through the streets of downtown Atlanta for 13.1 incredible miles.
I am absolutely overwhelmed at the number of people who will be participating and envision a wall of blue traveling through the city. This is our biggest year to date and every year we continue to grow.
Personally, Publix is my favorite local race, not only because it is in our back yard, but also because I am of course a long time Publix employee. It gives me great pride working for an organization that sponsors this incredible hometown race.
The crowds will be amazing especially around the Rally Corner at Virginia Highlands and I can't wait for the wheels to hit the pavement.
We would like to thank all of our sponsors. Children's Hospital of Atlanta has come forward to be a supporter for this race as well as a special thanks to all of our other wonderful sponsors.
If you're in the Atlanta area, this weekend, please come out and cheer on our athletes, as well as, meeting the athletes on Saturday, March 19 at Gordon Biersch Restaurant in Buckhead where we will be hosting an event to thank our volunteers, rev up our athletes and meet our friends and fans.
If that isn't enough exciting news, we will be joined by two incredibly special guests who will be running with us this weekend. Brent and I are so excited be joined by Amy Downes and Kamran Zokai, the incredible duo who helped Brent and I complete the NYC Marathon when our running chair disintegrated. We are thrilled to be hosting them for the race and help that the KPeasey faithful will thank them for their willingness to help us last November.
Before we begin our regularly scheduled blog post, Brent and I, as well as the rest of the Kyle Pease Foundation, would like to take a moment to offer our sincerest sympathies to Major Kim "Rooster" Rossiter, his family and the entire Ainsley's Angels of America family following the loss of their daughter and inspiration to so many, Ainsley. Ainsley left us all earlier this week and will be forever missed. Please take a moment and think of this incredible little girl and then go hug your child and all those close to you. Life is fleeting and we need to experience the joy brought to us at every possible moment. RIP, Little Angel.
Last week Brent and I kicked off our 2016 season in Augusta, GA at the Dr. Seuss is on the Loose 5 and 10 K. This of course makes me want to do the next part of the blog in Dr. Seuss type rhyming.
Six K-Peasey athletes ran and ran,
But did not eat Green Eggs or Ham.
They participated in the Seuss 10K
We'll save this rhyme for another day.
Our Augusta family really loved the fact that we traveled down there and they were absolutely the hostess with the mostest. It was great to get our wheels back on the pavement after a couple winter months of hibernation.
Next, we are gearing up for Charles Harris 10K this weekend in Atlanta, followed by one of my favorites, The Publix Half Marathon. We have more than twenty athletes signed up so far and there is still time to get involved both either as an athlete or as a pusher.
This is the five year anniversary of the Kyle Pease Foundation so we have a lot of things planned for the foundation, personally and for all KPeasey athletes. We are VERY excited about everything that is going on.
Please let us know about races in tour area as the foundation can travel and support races around Georgia and the southern region. Where There's a Wheel; There's a Way, I've been know to say. This helps us to involve athletes from all over and to share our message with a wider audience. We are also able to speak to schools, businesses and civic organizations, so please let us know if you have a contact we can connect with.
Earlier this month, Brent and I were honored at the Georgia House of Representatives by Representative Pat Gardner. The House gave us a resolution for all of our hard work with the disabled in the Atlanta area. Representative Gardner purchased a book for every member of the house. We received a standing ovation from members of the House. Quite a moment.
March is Disability Awareness month so many local schools are doing programs in March surrounding the event. As I said earlier, if your school is planning something, please let's discuss bringing Brent and I to the school.
Lastly, don't wait to sign up for the Jake Vinson Family Grant. The application can be found on our newly designed website at www.kylepeasefoundation.org.
Happy New Year and welcome to the 2016 kickoff of the Kyle Pease blog. We have so many incredibly exciting things on tap this year that I'm not even sure where to begin.
We will be hitting the ground running this week as Brent and I will be speaking in Atlantic City, NJ and will be making a couple stops in the Philly area. Seems only fitting that the Pease Brothers speak in the City of Brotherly Love. Our speaking topic will be New Beginnings focusing on the NY City Marathon and how we were forced to change our game plan and execute a new plan from scratch. In sport, business or every day life this is a valuable lesson to learn from.
We are also gearing up for another speech on my birthday..February 19 speaking at a local organization. Nothing is a better birthday gift for me than sharing our message to new audiences. In fact, if you would like us to speak at your business, school or civic organization, please let us know.
We recently spoke and signed our book at TriCoach Georgia in Athens and had an incredible visit. Check out the story and more photos in this link. I'm the good looking guy with my cap on crooked.
On the race circuit, we are gearing up for the Publix Half Marathon to be held on March 20th where our goal is to gather the largest group of KPF runners ever...to date our largest contingent of KPF athletes has been 22 in chairs being pushed by 72 volunteers. Whether or not you have competed with us before this is your opportunity to participate. The application is on our "newly designed" website. We will match you up with a three person team of your relative speed so there is nothing to stop you from joining us.
NOTES OF KPF INTEREST
It's not too early to sign up for the 2016 Jake Vinson Family Grant.
We will be blogging consistently this year on the blog...once per month so stay tuned.
get some superior reviews on Amazon. Please take a moment and post yours there as it really helps others make a purchasing decision. We would also love your creative photos of you and the book for our Facebook Wall of Fame.
If you haven't purchased your copy yet, we urge you to do so. All proceeds go to help the foundation so your purchase is a Win-win.
What can we say that hasn't been said already this year? First and
foremost, we want to thank all of our families who race with us. This
year 37 different families have raced completing everything from 5k's to
Marathons and Sprint triathlons to Ironman Triathlons! Our hearts are
full and it is very rewarding to see all of the hard work come to fruition.
To our volunteers who help get to the start and finish line each
and every race, we thank you. Thank you for your selfless acts and for
allowing us to share our day with you. As Mike Ragan said, "KPeasey
is a family and I am so honored that they all are so welcoming!"
To our donors, friends and supporters. Thank you for helping
fuel every mile we take on. None of this can happen without you all and
we are eternally grateful for your support!
You all give so much of yourselves and we cannot wait for the new
year to commence!
If you were unable to attend our annual fundraiser, but would
still like to support the Kyle Pease Foundation you can donate here: DONATE or you can
purchase the new book, "Where There’s a Wheel, There’s a Way" by Kyle Pease and
Todd Civin with 100% of proceeds benefiting The Kyle Pease Foundation. The book
launched on Sunday at our bowling event and got rave reviews.
Thank you all for the many miles we have covered together and to
the many more we plan to cross.