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When This Marathoner's Wheelchair Broke Mid-Race, He Still Found a Way to Finish

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Kyle and Brent Pease have completed two 140.6-mile Ironman events together, so they felt more than ready for the New York City Marathon on Nov. 1. Of course, this was before the right rear wheel on Kyle’s wheelchair broke into pieces after the 12-mile mark.

Kyle Pease has cerebral palsy, and the brothers have been competing in racing events for several years now. The duo, who hail from Atlanta, Georgia, founded The Kyle Pease Foundation, and their goal is to create awareness and raise funds to give people with disabilities assistance to meet their individual needs through sports.

After the wheel on Kyle’s chair broke, Brent carried him for approximately half a mile before stopping to figure out an alternate plan. The NYPD then escorted the brothers to a local bike shop, where they didn’t get a replacement wheel but instead came up with a quick fix.

Image courtesy of The Kyle Pease Foundation

“We tried everything we could to not drop out and finally tried to tie the chair to Brent,” Kyle and Brent wrote in a post their Facebook page. Unfortunately, this wasn’t working either, but then something incredible happened.

A fellow runner named Amy noticed the brothers struggling with steering, so she joined Brent’s side and steadied the chair as he pushed it forward. Shortly after that another runner named Cameron joined the team and helped stabilize the other side of the chair.

Image courtesy of Amanda Gordon / The Kyle Pease Foundation

“The three of us shouldered the weight and helped cover the remaining miles together,” Brent said on the organization’s website. “With Kyle’s drive to continue, we found that even without a wheel, there’s still a way.”

The group finished in 7:25:31, and though this was quite a bit slower than their anticipated completion time, the brothers certainly didn’t mind. “Brent once said ‘Kyle may borrow my legs but I borrow his spirit,’” the foundation wrote in an update on their Facebook page.

“The quote that hangs on the door of our coach and mentor Matthew Rose sums it up best: ‘I was determined to find a way to keep our journey going at any cost,’” Brent told The Mighty. “To end our trip on our terms. This is how Kyle approaches every day and I wasn’t going to allow today to be any different.”

Image courtesy of Amanda Gordon / The Kyle Pease Foundation
Image courtesy of The Kyle Pease Foundation

“There was no doubt in my mind we were going to finish,” Kyle told The Mighty. “It was important to be resilient and face our adversity head on. This was the hardest thing that I ever faced as an athlete but I’m so glad that Brent and I had each other and NYC certainly rolled out the red carpet for us.”

“I love racing,” he added. “It brings out the better side of me — one that might have been there but needed to be let out. It’s the side of us that we have to learn, and racing does that. The NYC marathon tested every bit of that.”

Originally published: November 2, 2015
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