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Fourth Annual Qualcomm Million Dollar Challenge To Raise $1 Million For Challenged Athletes

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Today, 100 cyclists begin the seven-day, 620-mile Qualcomm Million Dollar Challenge (QMDC) with the goal of raising $1 million for the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), a non-profit organization that helps physically challenged individuals around the world live healthier, fuller lives through participation in sports. 

Over the next seven days, the peloton of cyclists will ride from San Francisco, down the California coastline to the final destination of San Diego, making stops in seven cities on their way.

“It has been a continued honor to sponsor this great cause and to ride with such an inspirational group of people,” said Jeff Jacobs, long-time CAF supporter and board member. “We are proud to be supporting local community leaders, such as CAF, in improving the quality of life worldwide.”

Riders of the Qualcomm Million Dollar Challenge descend from a variety backgrounds. Several of the ride participants are challenged athletes, while others are participating as a way to raise funds and awareness for the foundation. This year, members of the professional cycling team Garmin-Slipstream will be participating in the final stages of the event.

“After participating in the ride last year, I felt this was one of the most rewarding weeks of cycling I have experienced. It felt great to ride for a cause that can change the lives of so many athletes and give them a chance to enjoy what my teammates and I experience every day,” said Danny Pate, Garmin-Slipstream rider.

“The $10,000 that each rider has raised will go towards  the payment of hand cycles, racing chairs, sports chairs and sports prosthetics for challenged athletes, as well as to subsidize their competition and training expenses,” said Jeffrey Essakow, a CAF founder and driving force behind the Qualcomm Million Dollar Challenge. “I’m thrilled, once again, to join this group of dedicated riders in an event which promotes the acceptance and respect for physically challenged athletes.”

The QMDC bike ride kicks off in San Francisco along Fisherman’s Wharf on Saturday, Oct. 17 and includes stopovers in Santa Cruz, Big Sur, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica and Newport Beach. The riders’ hard work and completion of the ride will be recognized and rewarded at a ride in ceremony at Kellogg Park in La Jolla Shores and again when they have the option to cross the finish line of the San Diego Triathlon Challenge on Sunday, Oct. 25 at La Jolla Cove.

Based in San Diego, CAF provides challenged athletes with critical funding for specialized equipment, training and competition expenses — allowing them to overcome economic barriers that often make participation in athletics cost-prohibitive for those with physical challenges. The generous funds raised by Qualcomm MDC riders will help the CAF further enhance its support of challenged athletes, allowing the organization to provide more athletes with specialized equipment and training.

Additional Qualcomm MDC event sponsors include aAd Capital, Bryant Rubber, XX Sports Radio, Competitor, Triathlete Magazine, Comerica Bank, and Trek.

To learn more about the Qualcomm Million Dollar Challenge, visit