ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The AJC Peachtree Road Race will take place completely virtual this year, eliminating its long-standing restrictions on the number of wheelchair athletes eligible to participate. Taking advantage of this year’s unusual circumstances, The Kyle Pease Foundation continues its efforts to break barriers of inclusion in sports by sponsoring a record number of 19 push-assist and wheelchair teams. 21 athletes and 28 volunteers will power this significant number of race participants.
“Historically, the AJC Peachtree Road Race places a limit on the number of push-assist athletes who can compete and only approves athletes who meet certain qualifying standards,” shares Brent Pease, executive director of the Kyle Pease Foundation. “This year’s virtual format gives us the unique opportunity to sponsor significantly more athletes than ever before. Considering the difficult circumstances and obstacles 2020 has presented our Foundation, the Virtual Running of the Peachtree Road Race will truly be the highlight of our year.”
The Foundation’s founders, Kyle and Brent Pease, grew up in Atlanta watching the race and for many years did not believe they would have the opportunity to participate together. The brothers made history in 2013 as the first push-assist duo granted access to compete in the AJC Peachtree Road Race. Since its inception, The Kyle Pease Foundation has supported 135 families across more than 1,000 finish lines and raised $3.5 million.
“The Kyle Pease Foundation has made a historical impact on the AJC Peachtree Road Race. Whether it’s Brent and Kyle crossing the finish line for the first time in 2013 or the steady stream of push-assist athletes crossing the finish line year after year, The Foundation is synonymous with what we do and who we are,” said Jay Holder, director of marketing and communications of Atlanta Track Club. “We look forward to welcoming a record number of athletes from The Foundation this year as we celebrate the Peachtree’s legacy in a new virtual way.”
The Inspiring Athletes and the Pandemic
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people with disabilities are at a higher risk of infection or severe illness due to their underlying medical conditions. This year’s virtual race allows The Foundation athletes such as Pace Academy fifth-grader Marin Smith, who has cerebral palsy, to participate in the race safely.
“The pandemic may have halted Marin’s ability to compete in most races this year, but it has not touched her spirit and tenacity. She could not be more fired up for her first Peachtree Road Race,” shares Greg Smith, Marin’s father, who will be virtually competing alongside his daughter. “We would like to extend a huge thanks to The Kyle Pease Foundation and the Atlanta Track Club, which have both worked tirelessly to make the event a reality for us under incredibly difficult circumstances.”
Runners can participate in the Virtual Running of the AJC Peachtree Road Race by completing a 10K and submitting their results between 12:01 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26 through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 29.
About The Kyle Pease Foundation
The Kyle Pease Foundation, founded in 2011, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of the disabled through sports. It is focused on generating awareness of inclusion and raising funds to promote success for persons with disabilities by providing assistance to meet their individual needs. Its founders, Brent and Kyle Pease, who strive to provide an inclusive community to all, made history as the first push-assisted brother duo to complete the IRONMAN World Championship in 2018. The Foundation’s programs include scholarships, medical or adaptive sports equipment and contributing to organizations that provide similar assistance to disabled persons. The Foundation also participates in educational campaigns to create awareness about Cerebral Palsy and other disabilities. For more information on The Foundation or speaking opportunities with the Pease brothers, please visit http://www.kylepeasefoundation.org.