Friday, December 20, 2013

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from the Kyle Pease Foundation

Brent and I want to take a moment from the craziness of the holiday season to thank everyone who supported the Kyle Pease Foundation throughout the year and we wish you and your family the happiest of holidays. 

On behalf of the entire foundation we just want to say thank you.  We cannot convey through a blog post how much you mean to us and how much your smiles have helped us reach our goal . This is the beginning of a great journey for the Kyle Pease Foundation with goals to assist the community in any way that we can. 

We know that 2014 is going to be a great year and as we wrap up a very successful 2013 where countless lives were enhanced due to your efforts, it does not escape us for one moment that without each and every one of you we cannot have such a positive impact. 

So as you sit with family this season, regardless of what holiday you may be celebrating, please know that the greatest gift that you can give to the Kyle Pease Foundation is the one you have given to us from the moment you decided to begin Walking with KPeasey. Your love and support is priceless. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Together We Wheel..... Bigger, Better, Stronger, Further than ever Before.

I am going to go out on a limb and admit that while watching our Bowling with KPeasey fundraising event earlier last month, there were several times that I thought of Twinkle Toes Flintstone chucking one down the alley at Midtown Bowl to pick up that nearly impossible 7-10 split. In reality, however, Fred was no where to be found but the pins were flying courtesy of the many friends, fans and family who attended our 4th annual fundraising event.

In bowling a perfect score is 300 and that is the number of guests we exceeded on that perfect evening as 300 enthusiastic Kpeasey supporters joined us for a night of pins, pizza, prizes and pitchers (of soda that is). For the night we raised over $18,000 which exceeded our expectations and will support a lot of children and disabled adults over the course of the next 12 months. 

We even had an appearance from Brian Jordan of Braves/Falcons fame who not only joined us but showed what a first class act he is by staying much of the evening and making himself accessible and open to anyone and everyone who approached him. He even donated a pair of signed cleats to the raffle and a Jessie Tuggle autographed lithograph. Not to mention that he made my armpits sweat and my knees knock as he came up and shook my hand (and you thought that was the smell of bowling shoes). 

Brent and I want to thank the students of Kennesaw State University who volunteered their time and did an amazing job of making people feel welcome and keeping things moving so that Brent and I could play the roles of gracious hosts. The evening would not have been a success without their efforts and we feel that they will be an even bigger part of our future in 2014 and beyond. 

I really feel that our foundation has turned the corner and the growth we experienced in 2013 will be dwarfed by what we do in 2014. Our goal remains to involve as many disabled people as possible and we feel our outreach will include not only children, but disabled adults, returning veterans and anyone who could benefit from Together We Wheel and the Kyle Pease Foundation. 

In a bitter-sweet moment we bid farewell to our Chairman Ben who is moving on to a new opportunity in the Holy Land of Bethlehem. Without Ben's leadership there would be no KPF Board and we wish him nothing but the best. 

His replacement at the top of the KPeasey board is Greg Smith who will bring us to a new level with his goal to get the Kyle Pease Foundation established in the business world in Atlanta and throughout the United States. Overall it is a very exciting time for the Foundation. 

Overall our event was an evening we will never forget until it is exceeded next year in size and kindness. Seeing the smiles on the faces of Teresa and Justin Knight, Jennifer and Aiden Jackson as we presented them to the crowd of onlookers was pinnacle of the fruits of our labors. Teresa and Justin ran the Marine Corp Marathon in October, while Aiden and Jennifer committed to joining them in October of 2014. The thought of seeing KPF runners blossom before our very eyes is the realization of a dream, a goal, a fantasy come true. Together We Wheel Bigger, Better, Stronger, Further than ever before.  

Below are a handful of additional photos that capture the magic of the evening...Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. 


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Pumped for Bowling With Kpeasey

Well Brent and I have been laying a little bit low since Ironman, it
doesn't mean we haven't been busy and working hard at promoting the foundation. 

We are busily preparing and pumped beyond belief about our 4th Annual Bowling with KPeasey Event to be held this Thursday at 6 PM at Midtown Bowl in Atlanta. Though we have many incredible events throughout the year, this is always one of my favorites because there is no pressure of finish times and starting lines, just pizza, laughter and family fun...Wait a minute..with the exception of the pizza that actually describes every KPF event. The bowling event is a great time where families get together, enjoy a few hours of bowling, food, maybe a beer or two, rejoice in all the good that each of them has done throughout the year and hopefully show new guests what KPF is all about. At the same time we are raising funds to continue the growth of the foundation. 

Many of you may have heard that I was unable to join Brent at last week's Marine Corp Marathon in DC due to a hospital stay. I am really sad that I missed out on running with the many assisted athletes who ran there but am so proud of all who did compete and complete the People's Marathon. Especially proud of our own Teresa and Justin Knight and Ryan and Katy Freesman who not only completed the race but ran shoulder to shoulder with athletes from Push America, Ainsley's Angels of America, My Team Triumph and Team Hoyt Virginia Beach. Each time we compete with members of these groups and others it reminds us how far and wide the message of inclusion and sports for those with disabilities is spreading. That is the continued fulfillment of our goals and dreams and what Brent, KPF and I work towards. 

Thank you for the prayers and well wishes while I was in the hospital. I'm good as new as my doctors were able to put KPeasey back together again. Brent has been spreading the rumor that I was actually in the hospital getting a tune up before our bowling event but that rumor has not been substantiated. Game On Big Brother! 

Hope to see everyone there! KPeasey

Friday, October 18, 2013

Bowling with KPeasey

Though I am often accused of having a mind that drifts into the “gutter”, I am extremely excited to announce our upcoming event that is right up my “alley”.  If I can “spare” a moment before the next bad play on words “strikes” I can “pin” the bad humor on our publicist, Todd Civin, who is responsible for this “string” of jokes and had to get all these puns in before his side “splits”.

I’m of course speaking of our 4th Annual Bowling with Kpeasey Event to be held on Thursday evening, November 14th from 6-9 PM at the Midtown Bowl in downtown Atlanta. This is the highlight of the Kpeasey Fundraising year and we are expecting our largest crowd yet, eclipsing our previous high of 175 attendees.

A $35 donation to the Kyle Pease Foundation will buy guests an evening of bowling, a Kyle Pease Foundation T-shirt, more pizza than you can possibly devour and maybe even a beer or bottle of water. The family-oriented fundraising event, will also include a raffle with highly sought-after sports items, a 50/50 raffle, special guests and, of course, good times to be had by all.

In addition to pursuing their pin-pulverizing passion, attendees will get a chance to educate themselves about KPF, a non-profit organization which provides sports participation opportunities for persons with disabilities, meet some KPF-sponsored athletes in person and learn about upcoming KPF events, including the November 9th Holcomb Bridge Hustle 5k in Roswell, GA and our Thanksgiving Half-Marathon to be held on November 21st.

The event will feature both assisted and non-assisted bowling and guests of all ages are not only welcome but encouraged to attend. In previous years we had bowlers as “old” as 5-years-old and as “young” as age 91.

So join us at the Midtown Bowl 1936 Piedmont Circle Northeast Atlanta, GA for an evening of pins, prizes, pizza, pals and Peaseys.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Epitome of Physical and Mental Dedication

“Inspiration at its best. The Ironman was the epitome of physical and mental dedication being manifested in one day of truly hard work between two outstanding brothers.” Sam Harrison 

It’s been incredible the support that we have received throughout the Atlanta community as well as from the gracious and kind people from Madison, Wisconsin and all over the country following our quest to become Ironmen. The love and the warmth we have felt has been outstanding. A week has passed and yet I’m still smiling ear to ear and get goose bumps every time I think about our momentous day.  

I actually inspire myself when I think about wearing the title Ironman because I didn’t know that I had this in me. I knew I could do it from a mental standpoint but from a physical standpoint there were many challenges that Brent and I had to conquer. As each obstacle presented itself I tackled it head on and achieved. In many ways being an Ironman is something I am used to by battling with the everyday challenges that accompany those of us with Cerebral Palsy, but getting recognized for such an accomplishment is beyond my wildest dreams.

Being out on the course for the fifteen hours, nine minutes and twenty four seconds that Brent and I were competing was both physically and emotionally grueling, but with the love and support of my brother and my family I leaped these hurdles with ease.

Like Brent, I woke up at 3:30 AM with the help of my good buddy and caretaker Sam Harrison. We got ready to leave for the Ironman as Sam put all my clothes on and got my equipment ready for the day. I ate white bread with almond butter, a banana and a ten ounce glass of water with my breakfast. Overall for the day I estimate that I drank about 300 ounces of water and peed quite a bit, which was very good for my body.

John David Johnson, our friend and photographer, and Michael Kidd set up the kayak while I got final instructions from Coach Matthew Rose. I needed some quiet time to gain focus because there was so much activity around us so I asked one of my buddies to take me to a quiet area. He took me over to the water where we did a quick prayer and drank a bit more water. Greg gave me a hug and a kiss and Michael gave me a kiss. I know this sounds like there was a lot of romance going on for a guy in a kayak but we are a tight group and they wanted to wish me well.

Brent pulled me out in the water just behind the professional athletes, which was really cool because I got to meet some very amazing Ironmen and Ironwomen. Brent and I went over one more set of instructions and then I had to go to the bathroom on myself. This was one of nine times throughout the course of the day that I peed on myself and though this may seem a bit more graphic than my normal blog post I felt it was important for readers to know what goes on behind the scenes. Being an Ironman comes with its downsides and one of those is the need to pee on yourself.

The cannon went off signaling the start of the race and we were off. People were blowing their horns and were going absolutely ballistic. When we started the second loop I got water in my eyes so I couldn’t really see what was going on because my glasses were so fogged up but Brent said he could hear me screaming instructions the whole time in the water. Whether momentarily blind or fully sited, I had a job to do and like a stage actor, the show must go on. From the moment the cannon went off I was totally engaged throughout the whole race.

We were in the water for about an hour and fifteen minutes, which was a great time and set the tone for the day. With a slower swim we would have been in trouble but the torrid pace gave us a bit of a cushion which we needed as we struggled at times during the bike portion.

When we came in to the transition to the bike it was one of my favorite moments as the crowd was going absolutely crazy as we ran up the helix. They were screaming and yelling and we were feeding off of their energy. I let out a big scream and had an ear to ear smile on my face and the crowd really got us off on the right foot on the bike.

Before the race we also hooked up with Christian Jensen the
Executive Director of My Team Triumph Wisconsin who would later complete his Ironman journey with assisted runner, Mary Cox. They finished in 16:23:52. It was great to meet people who have similar goals as we do. 

The bike was one of the biggest hurdles for both of us as the two of us, coupled with the weight of the bike, was 330 pounds of rolling weight. I wasn’t very strong in physics class but even I know that’s a lot of WEIGHT to move over a long DISTANCE for an extended TIME (W x T=D).  The first mile of the bike got us really motivated because there were people lined up along the course going absolutely crazy.  I was loving it but knew I had to stay focused as we had a big job ahead of us. I need to be there for my brother as we got increasingly close to the ultimate goal. We knew we weren’t here simply to experience the day. We were here to become Ironmen and to prove to anyone who witnessed our feat that anything is possible. It’s important for readers to remember, Brent and I truly do not feel that this is for us. The glory is great, the media and the notoriety very flattering, but we both believe with every strand of our fiber that this is more for those around us than it is for us. If one person who witnessed this day makes a decision to achieve something they didn’t think was possible, than it was worth it. So in our minds there was more riding on our success than a medal or a victory wreath. There was the desire to exhibit proof that anything is possible.

Throughout the 112 mile ride we averaged 13 miles per hour and topped out at 41 mph with our lowest speed being 3 mph when we were going up a hill. My body felt great and I had very little problem despite being in a sitting position for most of the day.  I got a little tight on the second loop of the bike but the adrenaline and Brent’s positive outlook really carried us home. Coach Rose really motivated and inspired us when we went into a valley and helped us every step of the way. We saw Brent’s wife, Erica, who did an outstanding job throughout the race and our photographer, John David Johnson, each of who elevated our performance when things were going bad.

About mile 80 we got a little nervous about the time as we had to finish before 5:30 PM central time. So from this point on I kept shouting “We Gotta Go. We Gotta Go.” I kept asking Brent if we’re good on time and he said yes. Though our cushion was dwindling we kept pushing harder until we had nothing left in the tank.

We were one of the last teams to make it before the cutoff so the fans were extra enthusiastic cheering us to the finish. Remember, those who didn’t make the cutoff were done for the day and had to pack up without having a chance to complete their Ironman dream. By making the cutoff we had the pleasure of another five hours on the course and could keep our dream alive.

Upon the completion of the bike we went to the transition area where we did a very quick change. After Michael and Greg changed me into my running gear they helped me into the racing jogger and all ready to go for the run. We got our final instructions once again from Coach Rose to make sure that I was mentally prepared for the run and knew what we needed to do to finish this thing off successfully. It’s important not to confuse efforts with results and no one remembers all of those who were almost Ironmen. We were off and came out to a huge, huge ovation. People were going crazy and there were cameras going off like a Hollywood Premiere. We started by going through the downtown which was so exhilarating. 

Towards the end of the race we went through and around Camp Randall Stadium at the University of Wisconsin which was one of the highlights amongst many highlights during the day. It was dark outside now and, though the stadium was not filled with people, the lights were on and it created a Chariots of Fire surreal type experience. We had a bike escort and it was very quiet allowing us to get away from the crowd for a while. Brent and I talked to each other and kept the conversation very light. I was able to get my thoughts together and it was very peaceful to be there with just Brent. This allowed us to mentally prepare before we reached the big crowds.

The volunteers were phenomenal on every discipline but during the run especially they treated us in an incredible manner. They gave us water and Coke, grapes and chicken broth and they were really nice. At one point on the run, around mile 22, one of the volunteers asked to take our photo. At this point it was surreal with the realization that I was going to be an Ironman with my brother. That was the most special part about being able to be called an Ironman, not by myself, but with Brent. I remember when we were going on the second loop, I said to one volunteer that I can’t wait to come back again. He said, “I know you’re coming back and I can’t wait to welcome you when you do.” That was an incredibly beautiful sentiment from one of the many welcoming Cheese Heads.

As we were coming to the end, I again had to collect my thoughts and make sure that Brent was okay. I began visualizing the chute as Coach Rose had taught us from the beginning of our training. I get goose bumps realizing that two short weeks ago we were training for this moment and now, today, we are known as Ironmen. I can’t conjure up the words to express what it feels like to work towards something so special and now our dream has become a reality.

As we neared the finish line at about 10:15 at night people were coming out of their houses and onto their porches to clap. It was like a scene from a movie. It seemed that with every additional step the crowd began to swell and explode with enthusiasm. They really respected us, as we do them, and they really kept us going. 

As we ran up the chute we saw our mother first and gave her a kiss and then about 350 feet further up the chute we saw everybody. In many ways I felt like a pitcher who was standing on the mound in the ninth inning of game seven of the World Series, about to see my lifelong dream come true. It was so exhilarating. About 25 feet away from the finish we saw all of our supporters and Brent stopped and embraced his wife, Erica and I was just screaming and going crazy. It was one of the happiest days of my life. At that moment I heard the greatest dozen words I’ve ever heard in my life, “Kyle and Brent Pease from Atlanta, Georgia-You Are an Ironman.”

I am so overjoyed and so humbled by everyone’s support and want to take a minute to thank those who sacrificed of themselves to help make our dream possible. Think about that for a moment; they sacrificed of themselves to make our dream possible. That is the very definition of true giving.

Following our accomplishment I received an email from my father that, though private in nature, I have decided to share. It means more to me than I will ever be able to express. The feeling that you did something that you made your parents visibly proud is one of the greatest feelings known to man. I thank Dad for taking the time to put his thoughts on paper and to share them with me.

“Kyle, I usually do not get excited about a trip, a vacation, or other special events until the night before.  Then these special events usually fade a bit a few days after they have ended.  Your accomplishment with Brent, becoming an Ironman, got me excited with anticipation and beaming with pride at least 5 days prior to the event. Since then, I have continued to bask in the afterglow.  My heart & soul are awash with warm feelings of the strength and brotherly love between you, Brent, and Evan, as well.

Words do not express my feelings of pride being your father. You have all accomplished so much already in your young lives. You have grown into incredibly good human beings. Thank you for being who you each are, have become, and hope to be in the future.  ou give hope to so many more that you do not even know.
There was something else that struck me more than previous races or other events that you and your brothers have been involved in together. That is Love.  The love that you show for each other in all that you do transcends everything else.  It is just beautiful.

For you, Kyle, I offer the Corinthians that I know you cherish: And now abideth Faith, Hope, Love, these Three; But the greatest of these is Love.

With that beautiful sentiment engulfing my heart I wanted to end this post by thanking the many people who made this all possible. As Brent said of me following the race, “He might borrow my legs, but I borrow his spirit.” If I can take it a step further, and we borrow the love, the enthusiasm and the dedication of our friends, family and support team.

I’d like to start with Erica. “Erica, I really feel that you are a major part of this as well. You have been there every step of the way and your support and love have meant a lot to me personally and I am glad that you are a part of my life.”

To Mom and Dad, “You never say no to me throughout my life and always encouraged me to reach my full potential. It’s a real credit to you both that we’re on this amazing journey. Thank you for good people like yourself. You’re the best and I love you.”

To Curtis, our bike mechanic, “Thank you so much for everything. The bike was awesome and you da man.”

To Matthew Rose, “I knew I always respected and loved you but this brought our relationship to a new level. You’re the man and the way you live your life is inspiring to me.”

To Greg and your entire family, “I am in such awe of what you have accomplished and I really appreciate the support and guidance and appreciate everything you have done for me.”

To Andrew, “Thank you for taking time out of your schedule for coming to Wisconsin. It meant a lot to me personally and I can’t thank you enough.

To Todd, my PR guy, “Thank you for helping to put Brent and me on the map. Everything that you do prepares us for the next part of our journey. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to us and The Foundation.

To John David, “I know I have said this to you many times but without you I would not have gotten through college without your tough love, your support and now that you are on this journey with us and the foundation you have given up so much of yourself and your time to help me become and athlete and I love you so much.”

And finally Sam, “Knowing you has made me a better person and I’m so grateful that you are in my life. You are the man and I’m at a loss for words to tell you how very much I appreciate you. I just love you and you’re one of the best caretakers I have ever had. I’m so appreciative that you’re in my life.”

To my brother, “You’re a beast but more importantly you’re my brother and I just thank you for allowing me to realize the dream that I have always wanted and I am so happy to share every moment with you. You have helped me to become a better man and I love you.” 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Words Cannot Express

Suffering produces Perseverance. Perseverance, character. Character, Hope. Hope, Love.  Love, Joy…These are all the traits embodied in Kyle and Brent that I had the honor to see play out over 140.6 miles at Ironman Wisconsin.  To say that I am in awe of their physical and mental determination is an understatement!  Watching their joy as they came down the chute then stopping to share the final moments with Brent’s wife, Erica, all of us in the Sherpa crew and 40,000 fans screaming and ringing cow bells is a scene that will last with me forever (thanks Andrew Shanks for capturing that moment in the best sports footage…EVER!).

It is hard not to tear up knowing the years of effort and preparation that went into breaking down yet another barrier to show the world about what CAN be possible with hard work and grit. However, Ironman Wisconsin is so much more than witnessing the love and bonds of Brent and Kyle as they tackled this epic “suffer-fest” together as brothers.  As they have said many times to anyone who will listen, their ultimate focus is on serving and helping the needs of others through The Kyle Pease Foundation. Ultimately, that’s what their achievement is all about. Building the KPF team one child and adult at a time so that those with disabilities can compete on the same stage as those who are considered able bodied. 

Kyle and Brent have demonstrated that “CAN” do attitude with this race and I know their sites are set on creating additional opportunities for inclusion for other athletes as they build this team bigger and stronger.  My daughter Marin and I cannot wait to don the blue shirts and race again with Kyle, Brent and all the KPF team!  Greg Smith - friend, supporter and athlete


Sometimes there are not enough words to express the gratitude we feel for those that make the biggest difference. Ironman Wisconsin was a team effort.  It started a long time ago with our parents and the life they encouraged us to live; one with compassion for each other and for those around us. It continued with our friends, sponsors and everyone who cheered us on that day.  Sharing not only the race but specifically the finish line with Kyle is something that was truly special and I cannot thank everyone enough for making such a difference.

Race morning came early and as usually my alarm was just a back-up.  I was up at 3:30 and begin final preparations for race day.  I was more calm than normal and packed my bags to head down to the lobby. Once in the lobby we met Kyle, Sam, Curtis (Freedom Concepts), and our great friend, John David Johnson (photographer extraordinaire and gear junkie).  The drive over was calm and we had every detail worked out for our day.

The swim was the easiest part of the day and with all of our planning we knew that we had everything ready. The boat had been blown up and stored the night before so all we had to do was joke around and prepare for the day.  Kyle wanted to get in early so we could have some quiet time about 30 minutes before the swim start. We loaded the boat, threw on the TYR Freak of Nature and with 15 minutes to spare we swam out and positioned ourselves behind the pro's as Wisconsin is an in water start.

I told Kyle no matter what happened the rest of the day I was proud to be out there with him and that today would be memorable.  He smiled, agreed and got the look on his face that all athletes get before the gun goes off.

The swim itself was trickier than expected thanks to a strong head wind for the majority of the swim. The Advanced Elements kayak was as trusty as ever and before I knew it we were closing in on the shore.  The scene after the swim is something that cannot be equaled. 

You must run up a four story Helix where the crowd had been lining up for prime positioning since 5:00 AM. The sound coming from the helix were unreal and to say we were running up it is an was AWESOME.  We headed into transition to make our way onto the bike. 

We knew the bike would be tough.  The mathematical equation of:

 Me + Kyle + Bike = 330 lbs. of rolling weight. 

The boys at Freedom Concepts did a great job of getting this bike ready for 112 miles but we are two people and a bike weighing a total of 330 pounds so the stress of the weight was considerable. Ironman Wisconsin is one of the more challenging bike courses there is so before the race our coach Matthew Rose told us that this bike course would require that both of us prepare to dig deep into our souls, deep into our mind and to simply find a way to get it done.  Matthew has been a tremendous friend and supporter since day 1 and having him with us for this occasion made us appreciate his sacrifices even more.  

The bike is a 16 mile out section, two 40 mile loops and then 16 back to transition.  The first 16 miles we were flying down some nice rollers and with the aid of a little tail wind were making great time.  The course is rolling but around mile 40 it really turns up hill.

The crowds there were is as close as we will ever get
to a Tour like atmosphere.  My good buddy, Josh Salzman, had arranged for a core of drummers to literally follow Kyle and I up the hill.  It was amazing listening to the crowds pull us up the hill and we almost forgot we had to come back and do it again...When we finished the climbs we saw Matthew and my wife Erica and told them BE THERE FOR ROUND 2.

I could feel the fatigue in my legs and knew it would be a battle on lap 2.  We hit the turn back onto lap 2 and grabbed special needs.  I gave Kyle some Coke, a baked potato and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  We had been eating every hour, but after nearly 4.5 hours on the bike we wanted to load up before we got to the hills again.  The average bike in Wisconsin was around 6 hrs.  So when we turned off to lap 2 you can imagine the roads weren't nearly as crowded.

I have the utmost respect for people that race in the back because that race is all about don't get the benefit of the crowds, there are less people, and well, being out there that long is hard. Well on lap 2 it was all about me and Kyle.  He pushed and pulled me around that course, screaming at me, checking the time and helping to keep our spirits up.  On the big hills Matthew, my wife, JD and Curtis were all there to help us get over those climbs.  It was some of the hardest work of our day.  Every fiber was burning in my legs and all I kept thinking about was everyone that was there for us, everyone that had made this day possible and I knew we had to… no WE WERE going to finish.

When we got to the top of the last hill I was absolutely spent.  I had to pedal slowly for a minute and that's when Matthew told us, “find something within you Brent. Dig deep into your soul and do whatever it takes to make this bike cutoff.”  He told Kyle to “fight like you have never fought before to push Brent harder than he’s gone” and to make sure we made the cutoff.  That motivated us and then we turned at mile 90 straight into a head wind. “Oh crap!” I thought. “How can we do this now?” but Kyle was there like he was all day to motivate and push me.  I've said it before but “he might borrow my legs but I borrow his spirit.”  Nothing would stop us now and we rolled into transition just under the bike cutoff to a bevy of volunteers all cheering for us.  It was such a relief to get off the bike. We took a moment in transition to relax and get some fluids.

The Run
The run started off through downtown to some of the loudest cheers I have ever heard.  It gave new life to my tired legs and fired us both up.  I knew that together we were going to do this and that no matter what we were getting to the finish.  We hit every aide station and loaded up on Gu, cookies, pretzels, chicken broth and fluids. We had a big spend on that bike and we needed all the energy we could get.  Around mile 8, I really started to struggle and so did Kyle.  We started to walk.  I did a quick check on the math and I knew we could walk and finish, but we both knew that wasn't what we set out to do.  We talked a bit, went to the bathroom, grabbed some more calories and with some encouraging words from our friend, Micki, we got moving again.  

From there adrenaline and emotions took over and I actually started running faster than the beginning.  This was HAPPENING.  One foot in front of the other.  Kyle pulling pushing Kyle…together we wheel! Together we were going to be an Ironman (men).  On the last lap, after our friend Adam, who had been following us for about 10k, headed towards the finish, Kyle and I exchanged some words. I let him know how proud I was of him.  Kyle is hands down the toughest athlete I know and without him that day isn't possible.  As we rounded the corner with less than 10k to go someone got the best photo of us. It was one of those “we are doing awesome, how do we look moments”??? Well, as we neared the finish you could feel the crowd surge and when we turned with the Capitol Building at our backs all we could hear was screaming.  Kyle finally let go, I pumped my fists and allowed the accomplishment to set in.  We had done something so special and were able to show everyone (as Greg said) “how powerful the mind can be.”  We set out to finish the race and here we were.

We saw our mom first and gave her a BIG hug!! It starts with the parents! Then we saw our friends, my wife and it was crazy from that point on.  I could barely hear Kyle screaming.  As we hit the final stretch Mike Reilly called out those famous words.  Brent Pease and Kyle Pease, from ATLANTA...YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!!!

And we were there. Medals on dad, hugging and snapping photos, wife crying, coach crying...So proud.  So proud to be a brother, so proud to be an Ironman. So proud to share this day with so many.

There are almost to many to thank and so much to be thankful for.
  • Matthew Rose -you are an incredible spirit and you make so much possible to so many.  Thank you for pushing us to new heights.  
  • Betty Janelle- you told Kyle he could do it and here we are.  Your passion is infectious and we cannot thank you enough.
  • Curtis Henry- the bike is spot on and your compassion even more so.
  • Greg Smith - thank you for believing in us before anyone else did and helping make the Kyle Pease Foundation real.  
  • Josh Salzman -since 2 years old, buddy..Since 2. 
  • Kiddo you are going to make a great father.  Thanks for sharing our day.
  • Micki - those 12 miles were awesome.  The years leading up to it better!
  • Bryan - please save us a gin and tonic. Till then thank you for being there for us since day 1.  
  • Andrew Shanks and John David Johnson- 32 hours in a car so we could race.  Is thank you even enough?? 
  • To all of our friends -we simply say thank you.
  • Evan- the word brother says it all.  We might fight, push, pull and yell but we are brothers and we are blood.  We all stand together and thank you for being in our corner by our side.
  • Mom and Dad - thank you for showing us that nothing on the outside matters. It's what we do with what's inside that counts.
  • To my wife - who took care of our home, took care of me and
    pushed me towards my dreams thank you for believing in the dream and thank you for being by my side forever.
  • Kyle - you are a rock. You inspire all those who cross your path and I am so glad to have made the journey with you that day.  Let me say that this is  only the beginning, sport.  We have many more to share this with and Wisconsin was just the start. Proud of you. bud. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Thank You to Our Fans and Sponsors for the Greatest Week of Our Lives

Brent and I would be over exaggerating if we told you that last week was the greatest week of our lives. Wait a second, no we wouldn't. Last week was the greatest week of our lives. Bar none. Hand down. Not even close. 

If the feelings that Brent and I experienced in the days leading up to Ironman Wisconsin, followed by the incredible love and support we experienced during the 15:09:24 we competed through the hills of Madison Wisconsin and coupled with the feelings of utter jubilation we felt during our incredible surprise meeting at the Atlanta airport, could ever be bottled and sold, then Brent and I would be the richest guys in America. 

And in many ways we are. The love and support we received, not only during our quest to become Ironmen, but each and every day of our lives before and after is worth far more than all the money in Fort Knox. Hearing our names shouted and the non-stop sound of ear-deafening cheers for each and every mile of the 140.6 we covered is a gift that Warren Buffett, Oprah and Sam Walton would not be able to afford even if they pooled resources. The infinite number of posts on Facebook and "atta-boys" we've received since is quite simply beyond anything we ever imagined. 

So while we soak our weary bones and rest up just a day or two longer we want to thank not only our incredible fans, but also our equally incredible sponsors, neither of which we could ever last a day without. In truth our fans and our sponsors are worthy of Ironman status as you were with us for each and every stroke, pedal and step of our Ironman journey. 

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to newton running,, DYNAMO multisport,  Advanced Elements, Albopads, Freedom Concepts Inc., Gu, TyrBell, and LocumTenens. And thank you to the thousands of fans who support the Kyle Pease Foundation (too many to show pictures of each of you). 

Without you we are just Brent and Kyle. With you, we are Ironmen.