Petco Park in downtown San Diego marked the start and finish line for the Padres Pedal the Causetwo-day premier cycling fundraiser and celebration. Nearly 1,500 cyclists took part over the Nov. 12–13 weekend, helping to raise nearly $1.7 million.
All of the money raised stays in San Diego to support research to find a cure for all cancers. Four world-class cancer research centers received the funds: UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute and Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego.
Several biking routes were available from Southeast San Diego up the coast to Encinitas and east to El Cajon—from a 12-mile “rookie” course to a grueling, 162-mile ride over the two days with overnight camping in tents on the infield.
Team Sempra-SDG&E recruited 64 riders and generated more than $185,000, which includes Sempra’s $100,000 Champion Sponsorship of the event. More than 150 SDG&E and Sempra employee volunteers staffed the various routes, greeted riders at the finish line with cheers and cowbells and helped nearly 100 children decorate their bikes for the Sempra Energy Superhero Challenge. Several of the kids are cancer survivors while others are still undergoing treatment, but that certainly didn’t slow them down or dampen their enthusiasm.
They dressed up as their favorite superheroes—from Batgirl and Batman to Ninja Turtles and princesses. Many sported capes and masks as they rode laps around a course inside the park, with a final victory lap through the finish line gate to collect their medals.