NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Many people who run the New York City Marathon are aiming not just to finish, but to do it in a certain amount of time.
But for others, it’s all about crossing the finish line, no matter how long it takes.
Brent Pease, of Atlanta, has been pushing his brother Kyle, who is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, in all kinds of races.
They were off to a great start at the marathon last year, until the right wheel of Kyle’s racing chair fell off during the first half of the grueling 26.2-mile race, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported.
“At about mile eight, I heard a weird noise and our wheel was wobbling a little bit,” Pease said.
“We had three broken stokes, which is basically catastrophic,” Pease added. “The next step I took, the whole wheel crumbled.”
Brent got an NYPD escort to take them to a local bike shop, who told them there was nothing they could do. But Kyle urged him to soldier on.
So that’s exactly what Brent did.
“I put a bunch of blankets on my shoulder and tied the wheelchair axle to my shoulder,” Pease said.
Many runners saw the brothers struggle, but raced on. But Amy Downes, of Maryland, and Kamran Zodai, of Roslyn Heights, stopped to lend a helping hand.
Zodai was at the halfway point on the Queensboro Bridge when he joined in.
“I told him ‘if you want to finish it, I’m here to help,” Zodai said. “It’s all about finishing the marathon.”
“Kamran’s run marathons in Israel and all over the world,” Pease said. “And Amy, turns out, has two special needs children of her own. So they were the right people, and we consider them friends now.”
The five of them finished in a grueling seven hours and thirty-two minutes.
“Then I realized what we had done,” Pease said. “Then it hit me and I was overcome with emotion, I couldn’t talk.”
The brothers will be returning to the route to compete again this Sunday — this time, better prepared — but also not forgetting the kindness of strangers.