At Sunday’s 2019 Publix Atlanta Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K, the Kyle Pease Foundation founded by brothers Kyle and Brent Pease, sponsored a record number of 60-plus push-assist and wheelchair teams, powered by 231 athletes and volunteers, including those from partnerships with Champions Community Foundation and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
“The fact that we have races this big now can be an inspiration and motivator. It’s really exciting for us.” Brent said. 2019 marked the nonprofits eighth year at the popular Atlanta race.
Since its start in 2011, after Kyle and Brent completed their first triathlon, the Kyle Pease Foundation has championed more than 100 athletes across 60 events and raised more than $1.7 million.
“We put a lot of effort and energy into making sure that the athlete has the best experience that they can,” Kyle said. Three runners are assigned to each assisted athlete and they complete three practice runs.
Throughout the year, the Foundation’ strives to meet the needs of persons with disabilities through sports with scholarships, medical or sports adaptive equipment purchases, contributions to similar organizations and educational campaigns.
Kyle grew up with spastic quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy, a neurological condition that creates a stiffness in muscles limiting his mobility. Nowadays, more wheelchair athletes like him are competing in endurance events, individually or assisted.
“We have a lot of return customers and we add a few athletes every year. To date, the Foundation has served over 100 families. It’s awesome,” Kyle said.
“We try to sponsor one family from out of town because we get inquiries from people from all over the country,” Brent said.
Father and son, Jim and Michael Sayih, have traveled from Broward County, Florida to race at Publix every year since 2015.
“A big shout out goes to our volunteers that spend so many hours making this possible. It goes beyond me and Brent. It goes beyond the athletes. To have over 200 volunteers is amazing. So we thank them for making inclusion part of their lives as well,” Kyle said.