We’re all being pushed by somebody.
“I started running in my 50s to get in shape and after a few years, I was doing marathons and ultras. I always ran the Las Vegas Marathon and one year, I wrote Make-A-Wish Foundation and Seattle Children’s Hospital to see if they had kids who wanted to run Vegas with me. They thought it was a dumb idea, said these kids
want to go to Disneyland or whatever. I said, maybe you should ask them. That’s how we found our first rider-athlete.”
“Toward the end of the marathon, neither the kid nor I want the race to end. Braden in Denver would drag his foot on my wheel. He couldn’t communicate but he knew what mile 22 meant: that the event was almost over. So he started putting his foot on the wheel. That’s when I realized every minute is special for them.”
“Ultimately, it doesn’t need to be a marathon. The parents, siblings, or friends often take over my role. All of a sudden, they realize they can do a 5k fun run, and you can do something to change someone’s life by including them, not pushing them away.”
DENNIS, TAMARA, AND BENTON
The Hills family met Peter through a stroke of local Seattle luck. Dennis and Tamara had always run together and they’d considered ways to bring their oldest son Benton along with them. Out of the blue one day, Tamara, a Brooks employee, got a call from Peter who wanted to talk to Brooks about helping him find rider-athletes for his burgeoning Marathons with Meanings (MWM) effort. Tamara told Peter about Benton and two weeks later, Benton, Peter, Tamara, and Dennis completed the Seattle Marathon together.
“Benton can’t communicate with us verbally, but we read his cues and we know he loves to be outside, moving past people and trees. Dennis and I have always run together and now we can share that as a family.” —Tamara Hills
BRANDON, RIDER-ATHLETE, WITH PETER
“My rider-athlete and I always have a pre-race meeting when I tell them the plan: I motivate for the first ten miles, then I need them to motivate me for the next ten miles, and we share it for the home stretch.” —Peter Kline
PETER AND HIS TRAINING PARTNERS
"During marathons, athletes, often complete strangers, will come up and run with me, and we encourage one another." —Peter Kline
BENTON, RIDER-ATHLETE, WITH HIS MOTHER
It takes a lot of trust to let one’s child be pushed through a four-hour race. Tamara and Dennis Hills didn’t know if their 11-year-old son Benton would enjoy it. He loved every step. Now he and his parents have completed four marathons.