03 Nov. 2010
WILMINGTON, N.C., (November 3, 2010) - PPD, Inc. (Nasdaq: PPDI) today announced it is hosting a pep rally at the Battleship North Carolina in Wilmington, N.C., on Nov. 11, 2010, at 10 a.m. ET, to begin a three-day celebration of the PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon. More than 1,600 race participants from around the world are converging in Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach, N.C., to participate in the triathlon, taking place Saturday, Nov. 13.
PPD will recognize 10 triathlete heroes from across the United States and Canada for their inspirational stories in overcoming life-threatening illnesses, in part from new medicines and therapies developed through clinical research. Twenty-three PPD employees taking part in the race will also join David Grange, PPD's chief executive officer, in kicking off the celebration. Guest speakers include Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo, Wrightsville Beach Mayor David Cignotti and Dick Jones, CEO of the Wilmington Family YMCA.
"Tremendous excitement is building for the PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon, and we are delighted to recognize our race heroes, employee participants and the YMCA during this special event taking place on Veterans Day, an especially significant day for the United States," said David Grange, chief executive officer of PPD and a retired U.S. Army Brigadier General. "PPD is inspired by the heart-warming stories of our hero athletes who are sharing the message about the importance of clinical research in improving health and saving lives."
Mary Kreis, Ph.D., a former Army officer racing in the triathlon, will share her cancer survival story at the pep rally. Kreis learned she was both pregnant and had melanoma during a bike ride across the United States. Through her participation in a clinical trial, she underwent surgeries during her sixth and seventh months of pregnancy and gave birth to a healthy baby girl. Kreis named her daughter Viva, symbolizing living life to the fullest.
Triathlete hero Eric Miller will tell the story of his son, Garrett, who was diagnosed with a medulloblastoma in 2000, causing him to lose his vision. Garrett's participation in a clinical trial took his survival chance from 50/50 at the beginning of the treatment to 90 percent at the end of the trial. Each year on his anniversary, the father-son team takes part in a triathlon. This year, they are celebrating Garrett's 10-year anniversary by participating in the PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon.
The PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon was ranked one of the top five triathlons in the world by Triathlete magazine earlier this year. This year's event is expected to generate at least $4.25 million in local economic impact. Funds raised from the event will benefit the Wilmington Family YMCA.
The iron distance triathlon includes a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run, and the event also offers a half-triathlon course. The race starts in Wrightsville Beach, winds through New Hanover, Pender, Sampson and Bladen counties and ends at the USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial in downtown Wilmington.