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KPF Makes History in "The Grand Daddy of Them All"

KPF Makes History in "The Grand Daddy of Them All"

The 241st birthday of the United States was historic in more ways than one as nine Push Assist teams, representing the colors of the Kyle Pease Foundation, participated in  the "Grand Daddy of them All", the iconic Peachtree 10K Road Race. 

To take you back through the history of KPF's involvement in the Peachtree, we must take you back in time to the year 2013 when Brent and I made history as the first Push Assist team to participate in this historic race. One year later, race organizers, The Atlanta Track Club (ATC) and the Shepherd Center, granted us a second bib as Brent and I were joined by Justin Knight and Brian Resutek as participants. Now in 2017, through the continued support of both ATC and the Shepherd Center our numbers have blossomed yet again. 

"As we waited to start, Matt of Infinity Yoga, turned to me and said, 'Dude, we have the whole row.' It's amazing to think that in 2013 it was just us. Now it's beyond that. It's bigger than us. It's a collective We and one we are so proud of.  Together WE Wheel!"                                     ~Brent Pease

As I've shared on several occasions, the reason this race is so special to me is because it takes place right in my own backyard on the very streets that I call my home. From the moment the starter's pistol sounds to mark the beginning of the race at Lenox Square Mall to the point where  runners make their way down Peachtree Road, through the streets of Buckhead and Midtown before finishing in beautiful Piedmont Park, the Peachtree can be summed up in four letters...H-O-M-E!

The highlight takes place as we race by the Shepherd Center, where many of the patients line the streets and cheer us on as we make our way past this incredible facility. The Shepherd Center specializes in spinal cord & brain injury rehabilitation along with medical research as the top rehabilitation hospital in the nation, so it is apparent why they cheer on the KPF athletes so feverishly. Another highlight for me is when we whisk by Piedmont Hospital, where I've been employed for many years. Patients, staff and many dear friends come out of the hospital to cheer for Brent and I, as well as our other push assist athletes. My heart swells with pride as we pass both of these top-rated facilities. 

Brent and I finished third in the men's division with a credible time of 39:18. The men's division was won by Ricardo Aranda and Matt Shechtman, while second place was awarded to Justin Knight and George Darren. The push assist women's division was won by Naomi Hicks and Carrie Smith, while the coed division was won by Aiden Jackson and Carmen Brahmin. Winning participants in each of the push assist divisions were awarded  cash prizes by the Kyle Pease Foundation to acknowledge their accomplishment. 

We look forward to next year and the opportunity for KPF athletes to participate in America's Largest 10K. As always, our goal remains spreading the message of inclusion from sea to shining sea. 

Before we blow out the final candle on our country's birthday cake, let me take a moment to remind you to apply for the Jake Vinson Family Grant and to register for Camp Wheel Away. These are two of the highlights of our organization and we hope to make both opportunities available to as many families as possible. 

Until next time-Together We Wheel....

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KPF Schedule Is As Pretty as a Peach (Tree)

It seems as though I start off each blog post with the same general sentiment and that is to say, "It's a busy time of year for the Kyle Pease Foundation and our calendar is filling up by the week." That's because it's a busy time of year for the Kyle Pease Foundation and our calendar is filling up by the week.

We had a record breaking turnout for the Virginia Highlands 5k and everybody seemed to have a great time including new and veteran athletes alike. Now we turn our attention to the largest 10K in the United States;  The Peachtree Road Race which just happens to be in our back yard of good ol' Atlanta, GA.  

We so excited that the Atlanta Track Club and the Shepard Center has allowed us to compete in the race with bibs for five teams. Just a couple years ago, Brent and I were dubbed as pioneers as the first assisted team to run this race and now thanks to these two organizations we have grown five-fold.

We have a whole weekend of happenings and this is one of our biggest fund raisers of the year. Greg and Christy Smith have graciously opened their home for an evening of fun that will highlight the Peachtree Road Race and The Kyle Pease Foundation. We are so grateful and excited to share the gift of inclusion with some amazing people. Thank you to the Smiths for opening their home to our foundation. 

Join us in our friendly bet where KPF Fans can wager to support their KPF favorite team at our website. This is a fun way to support KPF while cheering for your favorite KPF team.  

The Monday following the race, Brent and Kyle will hit the road for the 70.3 mile Half Ironman in Muncie, IN on Saturday, July 9.

So as stated earlier, it is a busy few weeks.  As always don't forget to apply for the Jake Vincent Family Grant and to sign up for Camp Wheel Away.

And do not forget, Together We Wheel. 

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Weekend is a Winner for KPF

To say it was an incredible day for the Kyle Pease Foundation would be a huge understatement. I could not be more proud of what the past few days have looked like for our Foundation. 

Several months ago, we came up with the idea of making the Peachtree be a friendly competition since the Atlanta Track Club was generous enough to grant us two bibs this year.

Team Pease was made up of none other than Brent and me, while Team Infinity was comprised of Justin Knight and Matthew Shechtman. 

The two teams went to head to head in the Peachtree 10K. As many remember, Brent and I blazed the trail becoming the first assisted race team to compete in the Peachtree two years ago. To now be competing with and against another KPF team is a step closer to our foundation goal of inclusion for all. 

All four of us were attired in our cool lululemon race gear
which were donated to us by lululemon, The Shops Around Lenox. We wore red and blue and Team Infinity were attired in blue tops and maroon shorts.

To my surprise, Team Pease was considered to be the underdog just prior to race time as Matt's previous PR was a blistering 34 minutes. 

Justin's smile, prior to, during and after the race really sparked me because aside from the mission of the foundation,  my personal mission is to see the smile of every athlete that comes through the foundation. That's what it is all about for me. Justin Knight is precisely what we envisioned when we started the KPF and for me that brings absolute joy. 

The weather was dicey all day, but the rain did not dampen our spirits. Justin and Matt had an amazing race and beat us fair and square.

Following the race, Matt shared his thoughts about the race and the weather. "It was a lot of fun out there running with Justin. Despite the dreary weather and early morning downpour, Justin and Kyle were in good spirits the whole time. Their enjoyment and competitive nature was infectious and it made it hard not to revel in the moment."

He continued, "As soon as the gun went off the race was on and Kyle and Brent pushed the pace hard, but soon we were coming up on other wheelchair athletes and Justin let it be known that he was ready to go faster.  From there it was just about hanging on tight - I needed it too, because going up Cardiac Hill was tough, but all of the applause and cheering at the Shepherd Center was plenty of motivation to get me over the top!" 

"Frankly, I couldn't believe how quickly the race went by, it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Excited for next year!!"

In addition to the race, it was overall an amazing weekend. With the help of lululemon and  and Infinity Yoga over $10,000 was raised for KPF. W are so grateful to have these amazing companies behind us and we could not have done it without them. 

Our friends at Infinity Yoga had this to say, "We, at Infinity
http://infinityyogaatlanta.com/
Yoga, are so proud to be partnered with the Kyle Pease Foundation.  Through our early beginnings we have had the opportunity to do events with KPF and every time we do they get better and better.  Beyond the beneficent goals and all the great things that KPF does for athletes, we have gotten to know the organization's members and athletes in such an intimate and personal way and even our students and community have gotten involved."

"It is one thing to raise money, and another to give time, but to feel so deeply connected with an organization and its goals has really made our experiences with KPF unforgettable." 

The Kyle Pease Foundation would like to thank lulu Lemon and Infinity Yoga, along with the Atlanta Track Club and Shepard Spinal Center for their continued support of KPF. 

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