Marathons with Meaning

"Once I pushed that first rider-athlete, there was no turning back. It was a drug I couldn’t do without.” 
— Peter Kline, Founder of Marathons With Meaning (MWM)

Hear more about Peter’s commitment and how it’s helped this Brooks family.

Story

We’re all being pushed by somebody.

Peter is training on the Lake Washington High School track, pushing a jogger chair filled with weights and bags

“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.”

Peter leans in to help secure rider-athlete Brandon into the jogger chair before a training run on the track.

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 pushes a jogger loaded with a 45 pound weight on a paved city trail with two training partners.

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

 Rider-athlete Benton smiles in his jogger chair as his mom leans in to kiss his forehead before a run

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.

 
An action shot of Peter running and pushing rider-athlete Benton in the Seattle Marathon on a sunny day with Benton’s mother.
I insist upon them being a competitor. They are athletes, not charities. They get a number and a timing chip. Peter Kline