“He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother”

“He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother”

Kyle and Brent Pease, who set the world record for completing the Ironman Triathlon as a brother duo, explain how anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

After 35 years with the Atlanta newspapers, Marcia currently serves as Retail VP for the Buckhead Business Association, where she delivers news and trends (laced with a little gossip). On the side, Marcia is Captain of the Senior Cheerleaders for the WNBA Atlanta Dream.

  • Photographer: JOHN DAVID JOHNSON
    Photographer: JOHN DAVID JOHNSON
  • Photographer: JOHN DAVID JOHNSON
    Photographer: JOHN DAVID JOHNSON
  • Photographer: JOHN DAVID JOHNSON
    Photographer: JOHN DAVID JOHNSON
  • Photographer: JOHN DAVID JOHNSON
    Photographer: JOHN DAVID JOHNSON
  • Photographer: JOHN DAVID JOHNSON
    Photographer: JOHN DAVID JOHNSON

Who doesn’t remember The Hollies’ emotional song topping the 1962 music charts?

The true meaning of that song was realized Oct. 14 when Kyle and Brent Pease set the world record for completing the Ironman Triathlon as a brother duo. The Ironman, which has taken place annually since 1978 in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, is synonymous with the word “grueling.” Licensed by the World Triathlon Corp, the Ironman consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile marathon. Outrageous for any human to complete, think about doing it supporting a wheelchair and raft. Kyle suffers from spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy.

Here is their story of human endurance and victory.

Mom, Janis Pease:
“Brent was always extremely close to his twin brothers, Evan and Kyle, who were two years younger. He became their protector early on – especially Kyle. Together he and Evan devised all sorts of creative ways to include him in their backyard sports. Kyle also played wheelchair soccer and basketball. When Kyle was 7, a friend and I started a challenger (adaptive) baseball league at Buckhead Baseball, Northside Youth Organization and Murphy Candler. He loved participating in Little League Baseball, but didn’t think it was competitive enough since everyone got to score and no one was tagged out. Kyle always wanted to do things that his brothers did.

We always thought of our family as “normal,” but who did things differently.

When the idea of racing together came to fruition, it was just natural that the brothers would find a way to do it together.

From left Kyle, Evan and mom Janis Pease with Brent Pease (back row).

Now Brent and Kyle:
Marcia: At what point did you get the idea to do the Ironman?

Brent: As a swimmer growing up, I gravitated back to the water as I grew tired of just running. Triathlon turned into the next goal for me, which eventually grew from shorter races to Ironman.

Marcia: How many hours did the Ironman race take?

Brent: 14:29.00. We were the first brothers to ever complete this challenge and the second “team” ever.

Marcia: What was the hardest part? Was there ever a time when you thought you might not make it?

Brent: The bike is typically the hardest part, but the run was quite a challenge this time. It got very dark and our light broke. We were essentially running without much to go by. We both stayed focused and Kyle continued to push me forward.

Kyle: I don’t think there was a time that I wanted to give up. Honestly, there were moments of doubts and worries. The whole day was challenging, but we kept our eyes focused on the prize.

Marcia: How do you and Kyle train?

Brent: We go out on weekends and spend six to 12 hours honing our craft so that we are able to tackle 14- to 15-hour endurance events. Go on YouTube to HiBall Energy/Pease Brothers and watch us!

Marcia: Is there anything that you pull from Judaism that motivates you to help others?

Brent: Tzedakah, giving to others and sharing in our gifts. That lesson from my early education has always stuck with me.

Marcia: What would you say about Kyle’s perseverance and attitude?

Brent: He is the most tenacious person I have ever known. He does not allow his disability to define him and continues to push the limits of what is possible.

Marcia: What is your “real” occupation?

Brent: I coach several Ironman athletes and marathoners, helping each achieve their individual goals. In addition to that and my training center (in Chamblee), I run the Kyle Pease Foundation. We raise funds through individuals and corporations who support disabled individuals through sports. We also do peer-to-peer fundraising for certain events. This is when our volunteers also do crowdfunding to help support our mission.

Kyle: I have a great job at Piedmont Hospital serving patients and guests in navigating the hospital, … giving directions and escorting.

Marcia: Last word, Kyle.

Kyle: “The Ironman World Championship was incredible. It’ll be a day that I’ll never forget, and to accomplish this feat with my brother is so sweet and special to me. Brent is amazing, a true gift to me and many others. I love him, and I’m blessed to call him my brother.

Don’t let your disability define who you are. Anything is truly possible when you put your mind to your dreams.

For more information about the Kyle Pease Foundation, contact Brent at 404-556-6704 or brent@kylepeasefoundation.org.

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