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Words from Kyle and Brent: Straight from the Mouths of the Ironman

Words from Kyle and Brent: Straight from the Mouths of the Ironman


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 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!


And Now a Few Words from the Executive Director



Checking in with less than thirty to go before the Ironman World Championships.  It has been a wild summer and we are enjoying as much of this grind as we can.  Not many times do you get to say you are preparing for a world championship race.

We just finished up our last long training weekend together logging more than 100 miles on the road between bike & run.  We will then participate in a transition walk through on Monday to make sure our team is all on the same page before we pack and ship our gear off to KONA.

The fundraising has been incredible and we cannot thank you all enough for stepping up to be a part of this journey with us.  With the race long since funded, we are aiming for the stars to create more opportunities for impact.  The fundraising will be used to purchase a new transport vehicle to assist athletes in getting to and from races, a new truck to accommodate our massive growth this year, two (2) job opportunities for disabled persons and to establish a van scholarship fund.

Triathlon and endurance sports were life changing for me.  It came to my life at a time when I was making adjustments to my life and trying to find more meaning in everything I did.  I had no idea that signing up for an Ironman would lead to so much and enrich my life immeasurably.  It has helped us to enrich the lives of so many beyond KONA and for many more miles to come.


We look forward to celebrating all fall with you as we complete prep for KONA, send 19 teams to Washington DC for the Marine Corps Marathon and of course our annual bowling event.

Together WE Wheel!


Inclusion on Display


With our Nation's celebration of independence still in view, I can't get over the after glow of our own KPF celebration of independence. I hope that everyone from sea to shining sea had a beautiful 4th of July. 

Another successful AJC Peachtree Road Race was highlighted by amazing competition as Brent and I pulled our a dramatic thrilling victory. The weather was beautiful  with inclusion being showcased at the world's largest 10K. The competition was fierce throughout the event with several new comers to the Kpeasey team toeing the starting line at the Peachtree this year.

Though never truly about the wins and losses, with a time of just under 38 minutes, Brent and I executed our race plan to perfection with our biggest race of our lives looming ahead in less than 100 days. Sherry Adams and Brandon Clift won the mixed division and Lizzie Kirksey and Rebecca Carpenter took the top prize in the Women's Push Assit Division. This is the second year of Push Assist Divisions at Peachtree. Not only were the races competitive but the Kyle Pease Foundation continued to break down barriers and show  inclusion on full display.

Now we turn our attention to the falls series highlighted by the Marine Corps Marathon, Justin Knight and team at Ironman WI and culminating in the first brother duo in the world to ever compete in the Ironman World Championship at Kona, HI in October. 

I want to thank so many people, but I especially want to thank Shepherd Center and Atlanta Track Club for helping us create the most competitive push assist race we have ever seen.  Sharing a race that I grew up watching with first timers, and long time race veterans is something that I truly enjoy every moment of.  Even that 3:40 am wake up call :0

We will have additional blogs to share focusing on Kona training updates as well as the unveiling of our new book "We Are All Brothers."  Remember that applications for the Jake Vinson Grant are due by August 31 and finally I leave you with this before turning the blog over to my brother.  America was founded for its freedom. Its just so fitting how inclusion, which represents independence at it's finest, was allowed to be on display on the Fourth of July. 

Now onward and upward as I turn it over to my best friend and brother, Brent. 

As we close out on another great Peachtree our focus shifts to our fall events.  We thank you all for being a part of our KPeasey family and helping show others that, "Where there is a wheel, there is a way!"

Kyle and I have been striving for KONA since 2012 and this year we get our first crack at the hardest single day endurance event on the planet. Had we gotten into KONA in 2012/2013, I am not sure we would have been prepared to make the most of this very unique opportunity. While we will be racing together, our  hope is that our racing will create even more opportunities for disabled persons.  Funds raised for KONA will support a new transport vehicle, a new truck, a van scholarship fund and job opportunities for disabled persons.

This was a personal goal of ours to compete in KONA, but now it carries additional meaning and motivation for us. We thank each of you for continuing to support our dream and the goals of KPF.  Join us for one more this year and help make a big difference in the lives of disabled persons.

Before I sign off, we have a world championship challenge for you as we have a donor willing to match up to $10k for donations made in July. It's like our own personal BOGO. For every dollar donated up to 10K we get another dollar absolutely free. 

I would like to close by thanking Matt & Becky (Yoga Works Atlanta) for helping us grow the push assist division and the dollars to support it, Greg & Christy for creating an event that is the catalyst for so many generous gifts and of course the Shepherd Center and the Atlanta Track Club for your incredible support. 

KPF and a "Pair of Justins" Learn Much During the Augusta 70.3

I've learned so much since we decided to start The Kyle Pease Foundation just six short years ago. The birth and subsequent growth of KPF has been similar to having an infant child. You care for it, you nurture it, you learn from it and teach it. You care about it more than you care about yourself. And when your precious child succeeds, nothing feels better.

When our athletes experience the taste of competition and the flavor of success, my chest swells with pride. Our athletes are inspiring to me and that was on full display this past weekend in Augusta. Justin Dugan and JDUDE showed perseverance thorough out a very difficult Augusta 70.3. They experienced the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat all within one race. Victory in their decision to compete; defeat in their inability to complete the race. Results are not why we started KPF.  We started KPF to show the world that "Together we can and TOGETHER WE WHEEL". Thank you to the volunteers , the countless supporters, parents and the ATHLETES. Thank you Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


And now some inspiring words from Justin Dugan himself following the Augusta Half Ironman. 

I've been trying to process a lot of thoughts about our race in Augusta. Most of all I want to thank you. For many things. All of you extended yourselves over and over for Justin and I. I was able share some special memories with you all.

I learned a lot about myself out on the bike course, both while struggling to keep that bike moving as well as when we couldn't get it going any more. It broke my heart. I sacrificed a lot for this race, time with my newborn son and family, work events and time working on my house.  I felt failure.

Throughout the weekend and after it, I think I learned a lot more about the foundation, inclusion and more importantly the team of people that came to support and work hard for Justin and I.  You guys were my Rocks! I can't even put it into words that will do it justice.

Hearing about how "we did it" so many times right after having my chip taken off was hard to hear. I felt like I failed all the people I asked for donations, all of you and everyone that was cheering us on. I felt like I didn't live up to my end of the bargain. But now, after letting it all sink in I can see the impact we had. Justin is an amazing Man and he handled this race so well. He kept checking on me and making sure I was okay. Even after the race was over. I'm lucky to have been able to share the course with a friend like him.

I have written and rewritten this post already a bunch of times and know that it will not have everything I want to say and need to express. The best I can do is thank all of you again. Throughout the weekend all of you were there for us. When Justin needed someone or something it was done! And even when I needed something it was handled just as quickly and with as much care.

When I've asked Brent about how I can find the motivation to do this because we aren't brothers, like he and Kyle, his response was "Out here, we are all brothers." I think that is what I learned, because I don't know if I believed him when he said that. We were a family out there. We had highs and lows and we were all in it together. We were brothers (and sisters).

We did it. We were there. And just like every other athlete there, we had a shot at finishing. We dealt with problems just like every other athlete has to deal with. And we faced defeat like every athlete has to. We showed that it is possible.

-Justin Dugan