FREDERICK, Md. - A Frederick woman recently helped push a man in his wheelchair to the finish line in the New York City Marathon, and their inspiring story is going viral.
The Pease brothers of Atlanta have been racing together for years, running two Ironman races and 40 marathons and triathlons together. Brent pushes his brother Kyle in a wheelchair.
The New York City Marathon has topped their bucket list for a long time. They tried for three years to get in and finally made it this year. Their goal was to finish in just over three hours.
"We were going to do the biggest marathon in the world," Kyle Pease said.
"We were talking about the race together and then all of a sudden this screeching metal stopped our day," Brent Pease explained.
Their left wheel shattered at mile 13 with half of the race to go.
It could have been devastating, but Kyle has cerebral palsy. He races with his brother to show how sports can improve the lives of people with disabilities. Quitting is not in their vocabulary.
"When we set out to do something, we are going to do it," Kyle Pease explained.
"It would have been really easy to just say no and stop. Kyle could have said that a long time ago, and he has never quit his entire life, and he damn sure wasn't going to quit for 13 miles," Brent Pease said.
Brent tried to carry Kyle, but when that did not work, he tied Kyle's chair to his shoulder with a rope and blanket, and they continued with just two wheels.
They had made it three quarters of a mile when Amy Downes of Frederick saw them.
"I just noticed they were kind of tipping some, and it looked like they were struggling," Downes said.
Hundreds had run past, but Downes was the one to stop. She says that is probably because she is an emergency room nurse and the mother of two boys with disabilities of their own.
So, she stepped forward and started carrying one side of Kyle's chair.
"It just kind of happened and I was like, ‘Let’s do this. Let’s finish together.’” Downes said.
Another runner stepped in to help after a few miles. The group of four continued on for hours, crossing the finish line -- in the dark -- with a time of almost seven and a half hours.
"It was overwhelming. To me, I was very emotional. I think when we all kind of broke apart from each other, I just burst into tears," Downes said. "It was an amazing experience, and I was so happy to see all of us finish."
"It was truly amazing," Kyle Pease said. "I'm getting goosebumps right now telling everyone this. It was a day that we will never forget."
As if this story is not already incredible enough, Downes did the race course with a stress fracture to her foot.
The New York City Marathon has invited them all back to do the race again next year. They have all accepted.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: kylepeasefoundation.org