Pease Brothers Go the Extra Mile for the Community
By David Block
Kyle and Brent Pease will present the workshop, Walking with Kpeasey & The Kyle Pease Foundation on racing today!, on Saturday, March 15 at Abilities Expo Atlanta.
The 44th running of the Peachtree Road Race (10K, 6.2 miles) this past July 4 in Atlanta, Georgia will go down in history. The men’s field came down to the wire with two seconds separating the top three finishers, but that wasn’t why. The top three women also finished neck and neck, but that wasn’t why. The race itself was bursting at the seams with 60,000 runners, but that wasn’t way either.
The 2013 Peachtree Road Race was historic because it was the first time that an assisted team competed. Brent Pease, 30, pushed his brother Kyle, 28, in a wheelchair from start to finish. Kyle has Cerebral Palsy. Fox 5 Atlanta found the Pease Brothers so inspiring that they interviewed the duo the next day.
While growing up, the Pease Brothers watched the Peachtree Road Race every year, but they never imagined that they would participate. “To be a part of it was very special,” said Kyle. Brent added, “It was so exciting to start the race before the pros.” (In road races, wheelchair entrants start before the runners.)
Peachtree was not the first time that the Pease Brothers teamed up. They have competed in more than 20 events including a 50K (31 miles) and two Half-Ironman triathlons, which consist of a 1.2 mile swim, a 56-mile bike-ride and a 13.1 mile run. Brent is the arms and legs of the team, and Kyle is the heart.
Kyle was born with Cerebral Palsy. However, his family made sure to include him in all their activities. According to Brent, when he and Kyle’s fully able-bodied twin brother Evan raced in the pool, they always did it in the shallow end in order to include Kyle. While Evan and Brent raced, Kyle’s father would run with Kyle on his back from one end of the shallow end to the other. To leave Kyle behind in order to swim in the deep end was unthinkable!
Whenever the Pease Family hiked in the mountains, Kyle’s father always carried him on his back.
Kyle’s brothers never minded helping him up and down the numerous stairs in their home.
“When we were little,” said Brent, “Kyle, Evan, and I would go down three stairs, get to a landing, and we’d have to sit and rest a couple minutes and go on…we’d sit on the landing and laugh and giggle.”
The Birth of the Pease Brothers Race Team
After Brent completed his first ironman race, the Ironman Louisville in August 2010, Kyle asked if they could do a race together. Brent told Fox 5, “He’s my brother, my best friend; how can I say ‘no’?”
In the spring of 2011, they did their first race together—the Charles Harris 10K in Atlanta. It was exhilarating to cross the finish line together in front of cheering spectators. They soon found that race directors were very welcoming and encouraging. However, the Peachtree race director had a few concerns. He made it clear to the brothers that the race had no category for an assisted team, but that did not discourage Brent and Kyle. When the director met with them and saw that they just wanted to participate and did not care about prizes or awards, all his concerns disappeared. He welcomed them warmly. “It’s hard to say no to Kyle when you meet him,” said Brent.
Kyle added: “I always wanted to be an athlete. I remember our mom and dad bringing me to the Little League games and I would have to be on the sidelines, and I thought one day that might be me. I had never known that it was going to be endurance sports. I absolutely love it and to do it with my brother is very special.”
The Kyle Pease Foundation
Because Kyle and Brent received so much support from people, they needed to give back.
“It can’t just be about us,” said Kyle. Brent added, “We’re able to pass along that care and compassion to other people.”
The established the Kyle Pease Foundation with the mission to “create awareness and raise funds to promote success for persons with disabilities by providing assistance to meet their individual needs through sports.”
The foundation has provided training equipment for people with disabilities. They teach families how to include loved ones with disabilities in races and triathlons.
“Kyle has been an important part of my life,” said Brent. “Helping him helps me. He makes me a better person. He makes me more caring, more compassionate.”
David Block is a freelance journalist and documentary producer/director who is legally blind. For more, visit www.blindfilmmaker.com.