Though they won't be running from the Halls of Montezuma or even to the Shores of Tripoli, several KPeasey athletes will be among "the few, the proud" as they "lace up their boots" and compete in the 40th Annual Marine Corps Marathon on October 25th in Washington, DC.
There will be an enormous sense of national pride while competing in and completing the 26.2 mile course set in the nation's capitol. Envision yourself as one of 10,000 athletes participating in "The People's Marathon" with the ghosts of Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King and George Washington guiding you through out the course.
What a feeling of patriotism one will experience as the huge American flag unfurls with the thirteen hands of the statue of Iwo Jima in the foreground as the canon blasts marking the start of this incredibly historic event.
Two KPeasey athletes who will be making the trip to DC areMike Ragan and Jessica Minton, each of whom were kind enough to share their thoughts about competing in such an illustrious event. They will be among several hundred assisted athlete teams from all over the country, who will start at the front of the pack ahead of the rest of the athletes.
"It’s a great feeling knowing that I will be a part of something so important for so many people. I know that I will not have a shortage of inspiration for the race," explains Mike, who works as a store manager for all3sports.
"I’m looking forward to the crowd support and amazing landmarks. It is exciting enough to be a part of KPeasey, but I think being in such a storied place will only add to this experience of serving a greater cause," he added.
Jessica mirrored Mike's sentiments, "I think competing against the nation's most iconic backdrop will be, in some ways, sobering. The United States of America has sacrificed so much in our quest for freedom and liberty. At the same time, I am so thankful that this is the country I grew up to respect. I am thankful for the Americans with Disabilities Act that provide opportunity to pursue what we love."
Both athletes spoke glowingly about their experiences with the Kyle Pease Foundation, which of course is music to Brent and my ears and will give us a sense of absolute joy as we cheer our teammates on from the sidelines.
"My experience working with the Kyle Pease Foundation over the past year has been quite a bit more than I was expecting. The families have been so welcoming and loving", explained Mike. "I have been so humbled by how freely the KPeasey families have opened their lives to me."
Added Jessica who will be completed the course in her hand cycle, "The Kyle Pease Foundation has given me a way to stay active and committed to something besides me and my family."
Ragan who will be pushing KPeasey athlete, Curtis Ward has little concern of completing the 26.2 terrain. "I know the crowd support will be amazing and Curtis has always been a very vocal and encouraging teammate during the race. He will let us know if we need to work harder."
Jessica shared a similar lack of intimidation, "I have no doubt that I can finish this, just as long as I don't have another flat! (I had a flat in the Publix half and didn't have tubes to change the tire...)".
Mike, Jessica and more than a dozen other KPF athletes are excited to be competing in such a prestigious event.
"I will be flying up with Kyle and my friend Helen who has been helping to fund raise. My sister lives in D.C. and she is planning to come to the race to cheer us on" explained Mike.
"My husband and my son are going with us. We've decided to go up on Thursday to explore the sights, added Jessica. "My husband is a huge history buff, and he's never been to DC!"
"His dad is also retired Air Force, so he is excited to see all of the monuments. We've also decided that we would rather have Grant go with us. He'll learn more about this great country from this trip than anything they'll teach in school."