'Champions Run' at Kezar Stadium to Benefit Kids with HIV/AIDS

September 13, 2002
News Office: Janet Basu (415) 502-6397

Fans of some the world's fastest men and women runners -- and people of any age who enjoy a good walk or run -- are invited to the Champions Run for Children 2002.

Scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 15, at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, the event is a benefit for the UCSF Pediatric AIDS Program.

The festival begins with sign-ups at 8 a.m. and the 9 a.m. Jamba Juice 5K Banana Man Chase, where adults and children can win prizes by racing a bunch of very tall bananas.

From 10 to 11 a.m., world-class runners will compete for prizes totaling $30,000 in the Champion's Run invitational men's and women's champions' and masters' races.

Among the runners who competed in the 2001 Champions Run were U.S. Olympians Paul McMullen and Jason Pyrah, Kenyan David Kipingetich and Canadian Andrea Grove.

Canadians Nancy Tinari and Graeme Fell won last year's women's and men's master's races; Lyudmila Vasilyeva of Russia won the women's champions mile with a time of 4:48.84 and Graham Hood of Canada won the men's: champions' mile at 4:02.22. Shirley Matson of Larkspur set the world record for women over 60 (5:58.69).

Races for children, sponsored by Whole Foods Market, begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday.

They include mile runs, staged by age, for 13- to 18-year-olds and shorter sprints for younger kids -- down to the 50-yard dash for 3-year-olds, with ribbons for all.

The day also features face painting, balloons, food and other activities. The champions' and masters' races will be broadcast on Oct. 23 on "Running & Racing" shown on the Outdoor Life Network (OLN).

The event is free to spectators. Competitors may register for races at the event -- $15 per child and $25 per adult. For information, contact race organizers Rhodyco Productions: (415) 759-2690, e-mail [email protected], or online at www.rhodyco.com Champions Run for Children is presented by Peter St. Geme Inc. Proceeds will go to the UCSF AIDS Research Institute, which will use it to support the UCSF Pediatric HIV/AIDS Program, part of UCSF Children's Hospital's Department of Pediatrics. HIV infected children receive their care at UCSF Children's Medical Center under the direction of Dr. Diane Wara, professor of Pediatrics.

The Pediatric HIV/AIDS program at the University of California, San Francisco is recognized as a world leader in care and treatment for infants, children and adolescents with HIV/AIDS. UCSF Children's Hospital experts continue to develop improved treatments to prevent transmission of HIV to children and to maintain health for those who are infected. Under Wara's leadership, the pediatric care team of the Ryan White Care Clinic works with the UCSF Women's HIV Service and with dedicated local philanthropic organizations to provide comprehensive care for mothers with HIV and their children. That care includes evaluation of babies potentially infected, care for the mother and infant pair and care for children with HIV from infancy through the teenage years and into adulthood.

For more about Champions Run, including an up-to-date list of the elite runners expected at the event, contact Gary Pike, Pike & Co. Communications, 415-585-2100

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