PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon

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Hundreds of PPD employees participated in 2014 PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon race week events in October, celebrating the life-changing clinical research pursued by PPD employees and clients across the globe.

The 2014 PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon Hero Awards ceremony at company headquarters in Wilmington, North Carolina, was a highlight of the annual race week. Seven PPD Heroes shared their experiences with an overflow crowd of more than 100 TeamPPD employee racers and hundreds of PPD employees, community leaders and dignitaries.

The standing-room only audience heard heartfelt stories of the power of clinical research from PPD Heroes — people who have participated in clinical trials or benefited from life-changing therapies developed in clinical research. The Heroes followed up their participation in the ceremony by competing in the triathlon the next day.

“I pinch myself every day,” PPD Hero Emily Schaller, who participated in clinical trials for cystic fibrosis treatments, told the crowd at the PPD Hero Awards. “I’m alive!”

PPD Hero Wendy Chioji, a two-time breast cancer survivor, told the audience about celebrating beating cancer by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, and then shared that she is facing a recurrence. Hers is a rare cancer, she explained, but unlike the onset last year, now there are trials for her specific cancer, and she has enrolled in a clinical trial. “I’m counting on a clinical trial to save my life,” she said.

Watch the inspirational story of PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon Hero Wendy Chioji, diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in 2001. 


PPD Hero Dr. Tim Fortuna, an emergency room physician, suffered a heart attack at 37 while training for a triathlon and is able to race today thanks to cardiac stents developed in clinical research. “Without clinical trials and medical innovation,” said Fortuna, who completed the full iron distance triathlon, “I would never have seen my beautiful daughter.”

During race week, PPD Heroes shared their stories at several other events surrounding the triathlon. Chioji and Mary Kreis, also a cancer survivor, spoke to PPD employees at the PPD Global Leadership Program meeting, held in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.

With an early morning start on Saturday, the Heroes and a record 120 TeamPPD employee athletes — along with 2,000 other racers — competed as individuals or on relay teams in the full distance race (140.6 miles of swim, bike and run) or half distance race (70.3 miles). Many other PPD employees served as volunteers along the race course and at the PPD aid station.

Dozens of PPD employees raced in a new 5K on the morning of the PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon. The inaugural New Hanover Regional Medical Center 5K allowed hundreds more athletes to experience the thrill of crossing the PPD Beach2Battleship finish line in downtown Wilmington.

Building on the success of PPD’s five years as title sponsor of the triathlon, which has been recognized as one of the best races of its kind in the world, PPD announced it has renewed its commitment as title sponsor.