While Kyle and Brent are busily preparing for the land of volcanoes and hula girls in Kona Hawaii, another team representing the Kyle Pease Foundation is training to cruise 140.6 miles through the land of Cheeseheads and Packer fans at Ironman Wisconsin. Justin "J-dude" Knight and Matt Booth will be heading to the great Midwest to compete in Madison, WI on September 9th.
Matt will be completing the 2.1 mile swim with J-Dude and will be followed up by Micah Cotton, who will be completing the 112 mile bike ride and Fred Soller who will be accompanying J-dude on the 26.2 mile marathon. The quartet will need to complete the 140.6 mile event in under 17 hours (the cutoff time) and barring a mechanical failure, should have no issue completing in that time period.
Though not a triathlete myself, I was able to remotely "catch up" to J-dude, Matt and J-Dude's mama, Teresa, to ask about their training and preparation for the event before they head out to America's Dairyland.
Todd Civin TC: The race is Ironman Wisconsin 140.6, where Brent and Kyle really faced some challenges, why do you think you can complete this?
Matt Booth MB: We have three people as opposed to one, that's the biggest difference. Also, J-Dude likes to go fast, so we put together a team that can move quickly so he gets even more enjoyment out of the competition.
J-Dude: Because Brent and Kyle have shown me how to do Ironman. The bike is the hardest. A lot of things help me to do it. I have got my strength up and I won't give up.
TC: How many races have the two of you done together and what number Ironman is this?
MB: I have done several runs with the KPeasey, but never a triathlon. I'm just doing the swim. This will be my first swim with either J-Dude or the KPeasey.
J-Dude: I have done some training days with my team of Micah, Matt, and Fred but we have not ran races together. This is my 2nd Full Ironman. I did Ironman Florida in 2015.
TC: How are you each training for this? How will your training change over the next months?
MB: I started a training plan in March and have stuck to it. Luckily, Maria Thrash is the Masters’ coach at Dynamo Multisport and she's keeping me honest. She's one of the best masters’ coaches in the nation, so I'm lucky to train with her. We have also done a "test run" at Lake Allatoona and will do an Olympic tri this weekend. Doing the Olympic is the only change between now and race day. Being a little more careful with nutrition and tapering slightly a few days before the event, but that’s it.
J-Dude: A lot of my training is doing floor work exercises and stretches and using kettle-bells to get my arms and shoulders stronger. I have also been riding my Freedom Concepts Bike - shout out to Cannon Cyclery for that! I have been focusing on eating right and meal plans.
TC: Who will be accompanying y’all to Wisconsin?
MB: Teresa, J-Dude , Micah cyclist, Fred runner, Ian Evans and I are going.
TC: What do you see as the most challenging leg of it all and what is your strength?
MB: I lucked out and got the easiest portion; the swim. It’s flat, cold, and hopefully an hour and 15 minutes long. The bike and run and very difficult, but I think the bike might be slightly harder.
J-Dude: THE BIKE!!! The bike will be the hardest part -- 112 miles is a long way to go on that bike and by the end, my butt will be sore from sitting in the one position. My legs kind of get stiff, too. I am strong and tough and just like every day of my life when I face a challenge, I can do what I have to do to make it through!!!
TC: J-Dude -does this get old or more exciting each time?
J-Dude: MORE EXCITING!! It will never get old to me. Because setting goals and reaching them makes me feel like I am living a good life!! And when people see me doing these big things, it helps them to know that anything is possible.
TC: What is your ultimate goal in racing?
I want to make to Hawaii to do Ironman. While I am getting there I want to help other people reach goals too, and live a happy life.
TC: Matt, have you ever done Wisconsin before with or w/o J-Dude and how will it differ? Any other Ironman races?
MB: I've never done an Ironman. I've done five half's, but never a full. Since I'm just doing the swim, I'll be able to go all out on the swim and that will be different. Obviously I've never pulled anyone before so that will add, but I've been training for that and the run through we did at Lake Allatoona went very well.
TC: Where do we find your fundraising link and how is it going?
MB: https://kyle-pease-foundation-inc.networkforgood.com/projects/53105-J-Dude -takes-on-ironman-wisconsin. It’s going well so far. The bulk of our fundraising will come from an event this coming weekend and we are almost where we were hoping to be going into that event.
TC: Have Brent or Kyle given you any words of advice?
MB: They told me not to suck and embarrass the foundation. No, Brent has been very helpful in giving lots of great advice. Having been on the course before he has shared some tips on the race itself too.
J-Dude First of all DON'T GIVE UP... and have fun!!! Work hard, train hard, and YOU CAN DO THIS ALL DAY LONG!
TC: Teresa, what is it like to see your little boy traveling around the country racing?
Teresa (J-Dude ’s Mama): Wow, where do I begin!!! Sometimes, it is hard to find the words to aptly express the emotions that I feel watching my guy participate and conquer any race, but especially an IRONMAN! I am his biggest fan and cheerleader. My heart swells with pride from the moment we pray over each race and I send him out with a mom kiss! Knowing that what he is doing is not only boosting his self-confidence, but also being a light and helping others is an answer to a prayer that I prayed over him when he was born. I can remember when he was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at age one. As I held him and looked at him, I remember speaking over him: "This will not hold you back. You will be great. You will do many things, you will be strong, you will accomplish your hearts' desires, and you will show the world that all things are possible". Little did I know how these things would come to fruition!
Through KPF, J-Dude discovered his gifts - our tasks as parents is to raise our children to be good, honest, caring people, who go out into the world and utilize their gifts to make the world a better place, and to help others. Every time J-Dude rolls onto a race course, I get to witness yet another moment of him sharing his bright smile to touch someone's life and make it a bit better - THAT MAKES ME THE PROUDEST MAMA ON THIS PLANET!
I would be lying if I said that I never get nervous/anxious about some races. Example: his first triathlon, I was a nervous wreck about him being in the boat... what if he falls out, what if he needs something, etc.? I stood on the shore and watched anxiously as his partner pulled his boat out on the swim course and headed out...... I was a bundle of nerves until they were in the home stretch of the swim coming in and as I looked out onto the lake.... I see J-Dude laid back in the boat, one hand behind his head, with a thumbs up and a HUGE smile on his face - at that moment all those nerves went away and I knew he was on to something special!!!
I could go on for days about how freakin' proud I am of my guy. I am thankful for each day that I get to be his mom, and for every opportunity I can share with him in his efforts to accomplish great things and use those accomplishments to make this world a better place! I look forward to future endeavors with my favorite guy!
TC: How has competing with KPF changed all three of you?
MB: The old adage "You get back more than you give" is very true here. I've really enjoyed getting to know Teresa and working with J-Dude . It’s also been a spark to my training and fitness. I'm much more motivated to train for this than doing something on my own. When I think about the race, I think about getting out of the water and running to transition with all the fans screaming for J-Dude . He'll probably be giving high fives. I get fired up, I can't wait.
J-Dude: Being with the Kyle Pease Foundation has changed my whole life! I now have things to look forward to doing and places to go and people to see!!! I have done so many things that I never even thought of being able to do. I wrote a book, I get to travel, which I Love, I get to help other people when they may be struggling and they see the things that I have done. I also have a job now. I tried and tried to get jobs before and no one would hire me. But now, thanks to KPF, I have a job and I love it! It makes me feel good to have this to do. I send out the tax letters to people who donate money to KPF. I have run Marine Corp Marathon two times and doing it again this October. I got to do the New York Marathon in November 2017! I have met many new friends that will last a lifetime. I love every one of them. Kyle and Brent are like the brothers I never had. They have helped me learn so much about myself, about life, about how to help others, and to NEVER GIVE UP!!