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