Challenged Althetes Foundation to host Million Dollar Challenge bike-ride

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Next weekend, the Challenged Athletes Foundation is presenting a 600-plus mile bike ride along the California coast to raise money for a great cause.

Dean Roeper, CAF Board of Directors member, Shelly Zimmerman, former Chief of Police, and Steven Peace, challenged athlete and stroke survivor, visited the studio on Monday to talk about the Million Dollar Challenge.

As part of CAF’s 25th anniversary celebration, the 2018 Million Dollar Challenge is the most inclusive ride yet. The 600+ mile cycling event takes place from October 13, 2018 – October 19, 2018 along the California coast. Challenged athletes and supporter cyclists participating in the event’s entirety begin their journey in Monterey and ride for one week to finish in San Diego. Participants help to raise over a million dollars together for CAF’s mission of supporting people with physical challenges, so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics.

This year, a record 12 challenged athletes and 140 supporters will ride in the 600+ mile marathon. Challenged athlete cyclists include Brandon Lyons, Jill Walsh, Steve Peace, Lucas Onan, Mack Johnson, Mary Roberts, Billy Lister, David Lee, Lance Weir, Casey Kammel, Andre Kajlich, and Jamie Whitmore. Athletes riding in the 7-day challenge raise a minimum of $12,500, and those also participating in the optional Prologue Day raise a minimum of $14,500. Departing on October 11, Prologue Day riders will follow the 129.6-mile additional route from Sausalito to Monterey. The day offers sweeping views of San Francisco as riders head south and make their way over the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

For the first time, riders also have the option to participate in a 2-day ride and raise a minimum of $4,000. From October 17 – October 19, 45 riders will start in Rancho Palos Verdes and continue 149.7 miles on the main route to La Jolla. The six challenged athlete cyclists participating in the 2-day option include Anna Hackenberg, Paul Romero, Edie Perkins, Scott Leason, Mohamed Lahna, and Tricia Downing.

CAF ambassador and NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton returns to the cycling event for his ninth year and will ride in the 8-day challenge. Also riding in the 740-mile Prologue/Full Challenge, CAF is excited to welcome Team “Made in San Diego.” Bonded together by their strong San Diego roots and a passion for the transformational power of sport, Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Former Chief of Police Shelley Zimmerman are riding to raise $125 per mile in honor of CAF’s 25th anniversary.

Following the optional October 11 Prologue ride from Sausalito to Monterey, the full event begins on October 13 in Monterey. Day 1 takes riders from Monterey to Big Sur; Day 2 is Big Sur to Paso Robles; Day 3 is Paso Robles to Solvang. On Day 4 (October 16), cyclists have the option to ride the Classic 54.8-mile or Epic 93.6-mile routes looping around the Solvang countryside. On Day 5, a pro-level transport will take riders to the beautiful Carpinteria State Beach to begin the coastal ride south through Malibu to Rancho Palos Verdes. Day 6 (or the start of the 2-day option) is Rancho Palos Verdes to Dana Point; Day 7 is Dana Point to La Jolla Shores.

The full peloton of riders will enjoy the peak of camaraderie and connection to CAF’s mission as they ride into La Jolla, greeted by many of the kids who benefit from their fundraising dollars. The arrival of MDC cyclists into La Jolla also kicks off the start of the San Diego Triathlon Challenge Sports Weekend. Riders are invited to stay in San Diego throughout the packed weekend of inspiring events, with the option to participate in the MDC ride segment of the Triathlon on October 21.

The Million Dollar Challenge builds a community of riders and transforms perception of what people with permanent physical disabilities can accomplish. Click here to learn more about the event or to support a participant.

Sponsors for the Million Dollar Challenge include: Tech Sgt Jack Kushner Foundation, Cornerstone Mortgage Group, Coilcraft, BJA Partners, Tuttle-Click’s Capistrano Ford, GU, Ashworth Awards, and Skin Medica.

The Challenged Athletes Foundation® (CAF) is a world leader in helping people with physical challenges lead active, healthy lifestyles. CAF believes that participation in physical activity at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life. Since 1994, more than $100 million has been raised and over 23,000 funding requests from people with physical challenges in all 50 states and dozens of countries have been satisfied. Additionally, CAF’s outreach efforts impact another 60,000 individuals each year.

Whether it’s a $2,500 grant for a handcycle, helping underwrite a carbon fiber running foot not covered by insurance, or arranging enthusiastic encouragement from a mentor who has triumphed over a similar challenge, CAF’s mission is clear: give opportunities and support to those with the desire to live active, athletic lifestyles. To learn more, visit or call 858-866-0959.

Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News