Snickers Marathon, Publix & Caffeine

So much for flying under the radar.  Kyle and I had talked about running a marathon together for some time after our last NYC Marathon in 2016.  We wanted to see what we could do running at a high intensity for a little more than three hours.  We already had watched KPF athletes, Gordie and Lizzie qualify for Boston while competing in the Marine Corps Marathon and we had both started talking about whether or not we could achieve this feat as well.  With Ironman in our rear view, we decided to embark on some training and give it a go.

 

Race morning was easy with just three KPF athletes on the course and only around 1300 runners overall.  Nothing wild and compared to the scene at the Ironman World Championships it was a calm and welcomed sight. 

 

When the gun sounded, we took off in the morning darkness.  Kevin Enners was off ahead of us and was out of our sight in the blink of an eye.  He had really figured out his machine and was looking for a MASSIVE PR.  Around the 3/4 mile mark, our chair was wobbly.  A bolt in the handlebars had come loose and everything was shaking. We shouted out to Rich Enners (Kevin's dad) and he was able to loan us his multi tool.  After we made our fix and stuffed the tool into Kyle's pocket for safe keeping, we were off again. 

Kevin as seen in the Albany paper for winning the wheelchair division. FAST!

Kevin as seen in the Albany paper for winning the wheelchair division. FAST!

 

For some reason the race felt hard.  We were barely a mile into the race at this point and yet were starting to doubt our ability to pull this off.  As we joined the half marathon runners for a portion of the course, we even joked with each other that we should just follow them and shorten our day.  After some chuckles, we committed to finding a way to dig it out.  Around mile 8, as the half marathon runners left us, we started to feel good.  Back in the fight!

 

I told Kyle that when I stopped talking, that it was time for him to take over. That is when the race would be at the “hard point” or the proverbial wall that marathon runners talk about. At that point he would have to lead us home. After 8 we were on target and I was starting to feel "good" as far as running feels.  We took on some nutrition, grabbed some fluids and hit the halfway mark on pace for a  PR for us.  Wait, what??? I checked my watch again and to make sure it was right.  I felt fine and while it was just halfway to the finish, we were now slightly ahead of schedule.  I reminded myself that the real fight hadn't even started yet...at mile 17 it happened.  It just got HARD.  I mean really hard.  We were hoping to average just under 7 minute miles and up to that point we had been spot on.  Then we saw our times hit 7:12, 7:15, 7:17.  At 20, Kyle was in my ear pressing us forward.  I decide that it was either forward or we weren’t going to know what a BQ felt like.  Then we saw 6:59, 6:56, 6:55.  With 3.2 miles to go, we knew WE could.do.this.  Go Kyle, GO! We clawed our way to the finish in 3:02.39 for a marathon PR by more than 25 minutes and our first BQ time!  What an exciting day.  What a hard day.  As we limped past the finish line, we found Kevin Enners who had finished nearly 34 minutes before us.  Man that guy can fly! We have some work to do with Kevin to help open up more doors of inclusion for him.  With his style of foot cranks, he doesn't qualify for many races.  But, this is how he races.  This is how he WON the wheelchair race in Albany.  Next came Jessica Minton with her marathon PR.  The “Roman Rocket” loves to go fast and it was great seeing another fast time from KPeasey that day.  All in all it was an incredible day for our small contingent of racers.  

Kyle checking to make sure everything is good!

Kyle checking to make sure everything is good!

 

Our #1 goal is doing everything we can to get Lizzie and Gordie into Boston.  If there is a way to have two teams in Boston, then we will take Gordie's line from Marine Corps Marathon #bostonpeaseparty baby!!

Some more exciting stuff coming, of course! Next up is 60+ athletes taking on the Atlanta Publix Half Marathon.

Love this photo. Everything back to the ‘A’ Wave sign is our crew from last year. TOGETHER WE WHEEL

Love this photo. Everything back to the ‘A’ Wave sign is our crew from last year. TOGETHER WE WHEEL

 

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We hope to have an exciting blog post with words from several athletes.  Equally as exciting is a new partnership with MUTU Coffee Roasters, where you can shop for some incredible coffee and support your favorite charity.  I mean, how else do we get up at 3:30 AM? Mutu makes some wonderful beans. You can learn more on their website or just trust us and order some delicious coffee. Can't wait to kick this off at Publix next week!


If You Think 2018 Was Incredible... Just Wait!

Even though we are two weeks in, it is not too late to wish a Happy New Year to all of you. We enter the new year with one very difficult to answer question in mind. How do we possibly build upon 2018 and make 2019 even more unforgettable?

It would be so easy to look behind us in the rear view mirror and get stuck traveling down Memory Lane. It’s difficult not to get lost in the many highlights that made 2018 on for the ages. From Publix to Peachtree. From another successful Camp Wheel Away to an extremely successful bowling fundraiser. From The Marine Corps Marathon in our nation’s capitol to a very unforgettable journey down Alii Drive in Kona, 2018 will be a difficult one to top. All of these spectacular moments will help to drive us towards our next big goal of making 2019 the best year ever for the Kyle Pease Foundation.

I bet you are wondering how we could ever top the year that was. My answer is by bringing awareness and inclusion to all of our athletes and to allow them the best experience possible at every race they participate in. By creating opportunities outside of the race course and by bringing awareness to the passion in their lives. It’s our commitment to partner with other resources and to gain exposure in a positive light for the athletes of Kyle Pease Foundation.

2019 is going to be a year full of surprises. We are extremely excited to unveil new book scheduled for release in the spring. Pre-orders will begin in the coming weeks, but that’s all I'm going to share with you for now. We are looking forward to our first race of the year just over the horizon. Because as the weather gets warmer, KPF gets hotter.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment below and we will respond in our next blog. 

Until then,

Kyle!

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!!