Hello KPeasey Nation...I'm having a difficult time containing myself because this is such a very exciting time of the year. I can't remember a time in the relatively brief history of the Kyle Pease Foundation that there has been as much going on as there is now. That is perhaps indicative of the growth, the excitement and the positive impact we are beginning to have on the city of Atlanta and the surrounding areas.
We kicked off the race season after dusting some cobwebs off of both the race chair and off of Brent and I by competing in the Charles Harris Run for Leukemia 10K. We finished in 37:55 which was a nice run for our first race. The time was good enough for fourth place in the wheelchair division and 30th place overall out of about 588 runners and walkers. More important than any time, place or medals is the feeling that surrounds simply being a participant and feeling the "need for speed". Prior to the acceptance of wheelchair teams like those who run with KPF, people with disabilities were left on the sidelines at best serving as loudly routing fans of their able bodied athletic friends. What we have worked and continue to work at with the Kyle Pease Foundation is to bring these same people off the sidelines and into the field of athletic competitors. Anyone and everyone can participate because where there is a wheel there is a way.
Two such athletes who joined us at the Charles Harris Race were longtime friends Pam and Lianne who participated with us and enjoyed every meter of the 10K race. Pam is fighting the battle against ovarian cancer and the duo used to run together as able bodied athletes. Now unable to run on her own but unwilling to give up the sport that she loves the two have adapted and adopted a new style of competition. There was noting more inspiring than hearing Pam and Lianne howl throughout the race and then watching Pam exit her running chair and walk across the finish line with the support of her running partner.
You see, disabled doesn't have to mean afflicted with the life long inability to walk. Disabled can mean returning from war with a new disability. Or a loss mobility or eye sight from an illness, accident or other life altering event. Any life changing event that would otherwise leave a person on the sidelines. The beauty of what we do at KPF is that we are judgment free and simply encourage the differently-abled to experience what they are still able to do. Maybe differently than others but still with the ability to experience and enjoy. Pam and Lianne epitomize that.
Now with Charles Harris in the rear view we are back to drawing board and rejuvenated for the Publix 5k and Half Marathon, our biggest event of the year.
At this moment we have signed up at least 17 athletes to compete under as KPF athletes and we believe the number will grow by race day. This is by far our biggest representation and we couldn't be more excited. The weekend events technically begin on Thursday as in true KPeasey style we are extending the weekend. Thursday night Happy Hour begins at the Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant in Buckhead at 6 PM with an evening of food, fun and frolic (maybe a libation or two). for those who haven't experienced the Garlic Fries, they are to die for!!
The race itself begins Sunday at 7 AM for the half marathon and at 7:30 at Centennial Olympic Park for the 5K. Most of our athletes are competing in the 5K but a few die-hards are going to lace them up for the 13.1.
For those who don't want to run, we are setting up a pep rally, rooting section, scream til you can't scream no more Rally Corner at Highlands and Virginia Ave at 7:30 on race day. Wear KPeasey blue, bring something to make some news and root on all the athletes. There is power in numbers and we want anyone who is not aware of what we do, to leave the race knowing who we are.
The weekend prior, KPF will be spending Friday through Sunday at the Abilities Expo at the Georgia World Congress Center. We will have an information booth there throughout the weekend and Brent and I will be conducting a work shop on Saturday afternoon. This is a great event and a wonderful place to learn about products and opportunities that help enhance the life of the disabled person. If that isn't enough to get you there, rumor has it our publicity director, Todd Civin, will be making the trip from Massachusetts to join us for the event. He will man the booth for a while but will also be conducting "Getting to Know You" interviews with some KPF members for upcoming blog posts.
And to close this week's blog post, you can help us build traffic and awareness on the KPF website by helping us spread the cryptic image you see to the left. This is a QR code which works with smart phones and sends people automatically to our site at www.kylepeasefoundation.org. You will see this very familiar image on our flyers, pamphlets and advertisements in the coming weeks. And a little secret...if you stare at it long enough it actually spells out Where There is a Wheel, There is a Way...Keep staring!!
Until next time....Kyle!