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Marine Corp Marathon

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Marathon, Inclusion and TOGETHER WE WHEEL!!

On the week leading up to America's most prestigious race, The Marine Corps Marathon, I can't help but be reminded of what inclusion is all about. We are a country that was built on inclusion. Inclusion of people from other countries, inclusion of our ancestors, inclusion of the strong and the weak, inclusion of those different from ourselves and of course, inclusion of those with challenges. We are strong, we are courageous and as a Nation, we are better together than we are apart. 

2016 as the President looks in at our athletes

2016 as the President looks in at our athletes

 

As our athletes run and roll through the Nation's capital it is important to reflect on these thoughts and ideals. This week is all about raising awareness to the people of the United States and to share the message of what the Kyle Pease Foundation is all about.  We look forward to the opportunity of running by some of the biggest monuments with some of the most historical importance in our country's long and incredible history.  Monuments such as the Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Memorials and of course the Iwo Jima Memorial, which sits in the distance at the start of this incredible athletic event. 

Sometimes looking on is more fun than racing (sometimes...)

Sometimes looking on is more fun than racing (sometimes...)

 

We will have a full recap of the MCM in the next couple weeks as nearly a dozen KPF teams will compete in the People's Marathon this weekend. There will be no rest for the weary. As soon as we get back from DC we head straight to Camp Wheel Away, The New York City Marathon and the Savannah Half Marathon. The Flag on the top of this month of celebration takes place at our annual Bowling with K Peasey Fundraising event on Sunday November 12th. Here we will announce the winner of the Jake Vinson Family Grant along with the launch of our newest children's book in the Where There’s a Wheel There’s book series entitled, "We Wouldn't Have it Any Other Way" written by our own Lauren Smith (daughter of Greg Smith) and our content curator and author Todd Civin. 

Miles, smiles & INCLUSION!

Miles, smiles & INCLUSION!

 

As always, Together We Wheel, Kyle

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The Kyle Pease Foundation Continues to Be Busier Than a Moth in a Mitten

As summer fades into the rear view and the weather continues to get cooler, Kpeasey is hotter than ever. With so many events on the foundation calendar we are busier than a moth in a mitten. 
 

We just completed Camp Wheel-A-Way, a camp for individuals with cerebral palsy where we partner with Camp Twin Lakes to host an amazing group of enthusiastic campers. The weekend was filled with biking, running, boating, Smores and a lot of smiles. It was quite a weekend filled with laughter and enough memories to last a lifetime. Kpeasey and the campers even went air born going zip-lining above the woods at Camp Twin Lakes.  

Our very own dude, Justin "J-dude" Knight is preparing fiercely for
Ironman Florida. He has been eating, dreaming and breathing Ironman for the past three months. He is super excited and is in top shape for 140.6 miles of fun. 

Along with his teammates John Rutledge, Tim Myers, and Paul Linck, they are ready to tackle any obstacle that may come their way because after all, Where There's a Wheel, There's a Way!
 
Don't forget to come out to Justin's send off party on Monday Night Brewing in Atlanta on Wednesday, October 28th. We are super excited to see Justin compete as he is the first KPF athlete to ever attempt this prestigious feat. This is the culmination of the vision that Brent and I saw when we started the foundation. 
 
Speaking of "Where There's a Wheel, There's a Way!", KPeasey can now add the title of author to my business card as my new children's book is on pre-order on our website. We are putting the finishing touches on an audio version narrated by yours truly and a big print version, so that everyone can enjoy the book. All profits from the book and the DVD are going to the Kyle Pease Foundation.

If you want to learn about inclusion, my life and the foundation, the book will be officially unveiled on November 15th and it will be available at the the Annual KPeasey Bowling Event. This event is the biggest fundraiser of the year for our foundation and we even have a special guest attending the event and spreading his message of Together We Wheel! We will also be announcing the Jake Vinson Family Grant winner. 

Next week we will be taking a team of athletes to Washington DC to the Marine Corps Marathon, which is a great event taking place in our Nation's capitol. After a quick turnaround, Brent and I will be going to NY to run the NYC marathon on November 1st as Kpeasey Meets the Big Apple and the Big Apple meets Kpeasey. Hope the city is ready for us!!

Wrapping up our busy stretch is the Holcomb Bridge Hustle on
Saturday, November 14th. This is our final race of the season and is always a great time. We may even get our social media director and co-author of my book, Todd Civin, to lace them up as he'll be down for the bowling event and book signing. 

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Not one... not two... not three, but five KPF Athletes Compete in Tanner Tri

In the words of Lebron, "Not one...not two...not three...not four...but five". In this case, we aren't referring to five mythical championships, as Lebron was, but instead the actual number of teams we had competing in last weekends John Tanner Tri-the Parks Triathlon. That's right, for the first time in the brief history of the Kyle Pease Foundation, a quintet of teams suited up and paddled, pedaled and pushed their athletes to the finish line.
 
The five teams (in no specific order) were comprised of Julia and Pascal Gouteix, Justin Knight with John Rutledge, Tim Myers and Paul Linck, Curtis Ward with Ricky Stokes, Danielle Sims with Scott Stafford and Noah Williams and Brent and I. Not that time is ever really what we are competing for but it was exciting to see that each KPF team finished the triathlon in or around the 2 hour mark.
 
It was amazing and extremely humbling to witness the smiles on the faces of the athletes as well as the adoring fans who cheered wildly as KPF athletes whipped by them. All of seeds we have planted over the past several season is beginning to reap the harvest and though we aren't yet where we want to be we are certainly enjoying a bountiful harvest.
 
The fall season is extremely busy for the Foundation and we are bursting with exciting news.
 
Justin "J-Dude" Knight will be competing in his first Ironman in November in Panama City Florida.
Justin and his mom, Teresa, scouted out the event last November when Brent and I took on the course and despite the cold temperatures and ferocious winds that we encountered, Justin decided that he is man enough to take on the challenge. Let's hope for beautiful Florida weather. Justin is the first Foundation member to take on an Ironman.
 
We also have a big announcement in the field of Children's Literature as "yours truly" will be unveiling a children's book in the month of November entitled, what else but, "Where There's a Wheel, There's a Way". The book which is written by our social media director Todd Civin and me and is illustrated by Jason Boucher, teaches children of all ages about my life with cerebral palsy and teaches the message of perseverance.
 
I can't tell you more about it because I'm liable to spill the whole story but let's just say it ends very, happily ever after. The book will be available at the KPF Bowling Event and on line at our website www.kylepeasefoundation.org after November 15th.
 
For the second consecutive year, The Kyle Pease Foundation is pleased to sponsor "Camp Wheel-A-Way". The camp is part of CampTwin Lakes and for the first time focuses on campers with cerebral palsy.
 
Camp Wheel-A-Way is a weekend get away where friends come together to eat S'mores, sit and laugh around the campfire, play games and share stories.
 
The camp runs from Friday October 9-Sunday October 11th and is fully staffed with counselors and a medical staff. The weekend is sponsored by The Kyle Pease Foundation with no cost to the campers and if that's not enough, I will be there all weekend. There are still a handful of openings so please visit our website and download the application for campers or staff.
 
That's all for now. Look for our next blog where we will discuss the Marine Corp Marathon, Justin Knight's training regimen and more about our upcoming KPF Bowling event. 

KPF Bonus Endorsement: Congratulations to our friend Jennifer Kahnweiler on the release of her new book, The Geniuses of Opposites. This remains the # 1 new release on the Business Conflicts and Resolutions chart on Amazon.com. Check it out. 

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Ricardo and Matt: An inspiration to each other ... An inspiration to us all

What's up everyone? What an unforgettable couple of weeks we have had.  Before we share about our recent Ironman Triathlon Eagleman 70.3 finish, I want to introduce you to a couple of incredible people. 


A couple weekends ago, we had nine KPeasey athletes toe the line at the Virginia Highlands Summerfest 5k.  This is another one of our favorite events and we experienced countless memorable moments. 

Among them was witnessing our youngest pusher when Lauren pushed her sister, Marin!!  This was  the equivalent of experiencing the birth of the next generation of KPeasey runners and made Brent and I feel like proud papas.

We also experienced the most athletes ever to participate in Summerfest with Kpeasey and had the pleasure of watching two of my favorites, who are rapidly forming quite a team. I actually want to turn the balance of this week's blog over to my good friends, Matt Sours and Ricardo Aranda, who ran their second race of the season together. We are honored to share the road with them and hope to see them behind us, next to us or even in front of us for many more miles!!  More to come on our racing adventures soon! #togetherwewheel. KPeasey 
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Ricardo: I'm honored to be given the opportunity to share Kyle's blog space with him and with Matt. As Kyle told you, my name is Ricardo Aranda and I am now a two-time KPeasey athlete. I participated in each events with my new friend, my "brother", my inspiration, my mentor, Matt Sours. We go waaaay back as we met each other about two or three minutes before our first race in March, the Publix 5K.

I couldn't have been paired with a better running partner than Matt and I am so grateful for his friendship. He says that I inspire him, but I honestly feel that he inspires me equally. He really seems to understand me and works hard to make the running experience meaningful for both of us.

I'd like to tell you a little about myself. I am 24-years-old and, like Kyle, I have cerebral palsy, the result of a premature birth. I am also legally blind due to optic nerve atrophy. I can actually see a little bit, but don't do very well recognizing people. 

I refuse to let my disabilities stop me though as I attended public school for most of my academic life and attended Chattanooga Technical College, earning my associates degree in Technical Communications. I am planning to attend Kyle Pease's alma mater, Kennesaw State to earn my bachelors in Public Relations.

When I'm not burning up the race course with my buddy, Matt, I play goalie on a Wheelchair Team Handball team. Many have asked me how I play since I am blind and my pat answer is..."both with assistance and very carefully".

I was actually introduced to Kyle by my handball coach Rick Thompson, an introduction I am very grateful for. After meeting Kyle and attending Camp Wheel Away together, I decided to start running simply so I would have another hobby. I never dreamed that I would love it as much as I do. Matt and I have set a goal of competing in the Marine Corp Marathon together in the fall of 2016. Running with my "brother" in the Nation's Capitol would be a dream come true.


Matt: I've known Kyle for a few years having run into him at a few races. Most of the time I'd get smoked by the Peases and spend the rest of the race thinking about what they are doing and how super cool it is. After I heard that they completed their first Ironman, I decided to give pushing a shot. 

It was a cold rainy day when Ricardo and I ran Publix. We were both soaked by the end but the triumphant bond that we shared was
super cool. I got lucky finding someone who is as competitive as Ricardo. When you meet someone like Ricardo, someone who is always positive, it keeps me positive. We participate in a little playful back and forth throughout the race and he helps push me up the hill emotionally while I'm trying to get us both up to the top physically. I'll tell you, it's hard work pushing, but with Ricardo's enthusiasm it's somehow a little easier.

I will never forget coming down Courtland Ave and Ricardo saw the gold dome of the Capitol for first time.  He shouted, "Oh my God. It's right there". At that moment, I realized running with Ricardo isn't about the finish time. Without a question it is trading up. In many ways I feel a bit selfish, knowing that I get more out of this than Ricardo does.

Ricardo: If I impact somebody, I wouldn't  necessarily know it, but I'm glad I am able to lend a hand, maybe not physically but emotionally.  When I see a big crowd cheering us on, I thank them because I know they are sacrificing part of their day to cheer us on. The least I can do is say thank you.


And I'll never forget the feeling when Matt and I crossed the finish line together. I screamed, "Hey man, we did it." 

Matt: We sure did, buddy. We did it.

Ricardo: You inspire me, man.

Matt: You inspire me too.



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KPF Announces Some Really Exciting Stuff

We are entering our most exciting and perhaps my favorite time of the Kyle Pease Foundation year as we are about to announce two incredible opportunities for those who are associated with KPF. 

In the words of some really smart person, "Tis better to give than to receive" and we are excited to give the 2nd Annual Pease Family Grant. Last year we loved the feeling of awarding the Bates Family of Fort Worth TX our first such award in which we presented Sean and Steve with an adaptive bike to use in enhancing their race experience together. This year we hope to duplicate the experience by presenting a lucky recipient or their family a piece of adaptive race equipment (bike, chair or boat) to offset the costs of improving their opportunity to "wheel". 

The Kyle Pease Foundation strives to be more than simply a team of racers but more so a resource to help others enjoy the experience. Whenever we are able to assist in defraying the costs associated with adaptive racing we try to do so. The Annual Pease Grant is one such way we make racing possible for those families who need a helping hand. In order to be considered for this year's grant please email us at walkingwithkpeasey@gmail.com and tell us why you would like to be considered. 

The second opportunity we want to encourage racers to take advantage of is to join us at the Marine Corp Marathon in Washington DC during the weekend of October 23-26. Nothing is more exilerating than running 26.2 with Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson, the Pentagon, the White House and other historical landmarks in the rear view mirror. We currently have six of our ten race bibs still available for the People's Marathon where we join forces with "Push America" to make a powerful statement. Last year we joined Push America, Team Hoyt, Ainsley's Angels and myTeam Triumph in a powerful show of inclusion at the beginning of this very prestigious race. This year we hope to increase this show by sending ten teams to the Nation's capital. KPF will again offset costs of race entry, hotel, food and travel for those teams who raise the funds necessary to compete. Again email us at walkingwithkpeasey@gmail.com to secure your bib. 

Our next official race is only a month away at the Virginia Highlands Summerfest 5K on June 7th. This is an exciting race and we would love to show up in full force. Whether a first time KPF-er or a grizzled veteran, we would love for you to become involved. The 5K Race starts at 8 AM near  the intersection of Virginia Ave and N Highland Ave,  runs through scenic neighborhoods and ends near John Howell Park. It is truly one of our favorite 5K's of the year. 

That is of course followed up a month later by the Peachtree Road Race on the Fourth of July. We have some very exciting news regarding this race, so stay tuned for our upcoming posts. 



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