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My Brother’s Keeper – The Inspiring Story of Kyle and Brent Pease

Posted on February 27, 2019 by All In

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Mention the phrase “Ironman triathlon” and one will immediately think of tall, tanned and muscular athletes who look like characters from a superhero comic. The Ironman triathlon is indeed considered one of the toughest endurance sports a person can take part in – starting with a 4 km swim in the sea, a 180 km bicycle ride (that’s the equivalent of traveling from Singapore to Muar in Johor, a 3-hr car ride), and ending with a 42 km run – all one after the other. This race is reserved only for the strongest and the fittest, and those who finish in the top will get to compete with the best in the World Championships In Kona, Hawaii. That is, until Brent and Kyle Pease crossed the finish line in Kona last year on October 13th, making history as the first push-assisted team of brothers to finish in the birthplace of the sport. 

The Pease Brothers at the finishing line of the Kona Championships in 2018. Photo: Kyle Pease Foundation.

Beginning Of A Dream

Kyle was born with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy which rendered him incapable of using his limbs.  But brother Brent made sure that his brother did not miss out on family activities, including time spent together playing sports. Kyle himself played wheelchair basketball and soccer, but something stirred in him when he saw Brent finish his first Ironman race in Louisville. “I should be able to participate in any sport or race like anyone else.” he thought, and that set in motion a series of events that led to their amazing finish in Kona years down the road. 

Photo by John David Johnson

One year after that fateful day, Kyle and Brent finished their first triathlon together in St Anthony’s Florida. And after 25 events as a team with equipment designed to allow Kyle to participate, they attempted their first Ironman event in Wisconsin, finishing the race in an incredible 14 hours 29 minutes . Brent has a purpose-built kayak that allowed him to swim with Kyle in tow, a tandem bike that lets the brothers ride together, and runs with Kyle in a push-chair. They are fraught with logistical challenges nonetheless. Managing the transition from swim to bike, and subsequently from bike to run took longer than for able-bodied athletes as Kyle had to be moved to the next piece of equipment, and the brothers made use of this period to catch up on rest and nutrition. The sport was tough on both their bodies, but Kyle was always motivated, upbeat and never giving up on himself or Brent.  

Anything Is Possible

What was the slogan for the Ironman triathlon was brought to life by these amazing brothers. They secured a coveted slot for the Kona championship in Kona Hawaii and raced through a gruelling course as other able-bodied athletes, never once letting Kyle’s disabilities get in the way of making their dreams a reality. That dream came to fruition as the brothers battled the elements, both mental and physical fatigue to have their names called out , “Kyle Pease, you are an Ironman!, Brent Pease, you are an Ironman!” Anything is possible when you don’t give up, and the Pease brothers proved it so. 

 

Their story comes full circle. The foundation that they have set up in 2011 – the Kyle Pease Foundation – is working hard to increase awareness and promote inclusion for disabled athletes, championing their participation in sports, and raising millions of dollars in aid to enable these participations. Over the years, the foundation have supported hundreds of para-athletes to take part in sporting events all over America, allowing them to play like everybody else. 

Photo by John David Johnson

As the motto of the Kyle Pease Foundation so aptly put – “Where there is a wheel, there is a way.” Dare to dream big, you’ll never know where they will take you. 

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