Go bananas for UCSF pediatrics AIDS research at Kezar September 18

Runners and spectators of all ages are invited to Kezar Stadium in Golden Gate Park on Sunday, September 18, for an annual festival that benefits pediatric AIDS research at UCSF Children’s Hospital.

The event is scheduled from 9 AM to noon at the stadium, located at Frederick St. and Arguello Blvd. in San Francisco.

The festival features the sixth annual Jamba Juice 5K BananaMan Chase, with some of the fastest 5K runners in California, along with thousands of recreational runners and a whole bunch of bananas. 

A dozen or more runners in Jamba Juice banana costumes will be part of the starting line-up and a major part of the run.  All runners will have a chance to beat one or more bananas (who run at various speeds) to the finish line, becoming eligible for prizes.

The Jamba Juice run is also a Pacific Association USA T&F 5K Championship, with $5,500 in prize money.  The run starts at 9 AM.

All runners and walkers will receive a commemorative Jamba Juice 5K BananaMan Chase t-shirt, a variety of treats from Whole Foods Market vendors, and a goodie bag.

The festival also features the Whole Foods Market Young Champions Races for children ages 3-18. It includes 50-meter to 1-mile races in age group heats, with ribbons, kids’ goodie bags and t-shirts to all registered participants.  These races start after the completion of the BananaMan Chase.

The festival is open to all, featuring free refreshments, live music, face painters, and bounce houses.

Presented by Peter St. Geme, Inc., the Jamba Juice and Whole Foods Market runs are held each year to support the UCSF Pediatric AIDS Research Program. 

Information about the festival and race registration is available online at RhodyCo Productions or by phone at (415) 759-2690. 

Entry forms are also available at Bay Area Jamba Juice stores and all Bay Area Whole Foods Markets. Race-morning registration starts inside Kezar Stadium at 7:30 AM.  Race day registration fees are $30 for the Jamba Juice 5K and $15 for the Whole Foods Market Young Champions Races.

At UCSF Children’s Hospital, children receive care for a variety of health problems from a team of specialists who often treat rare and complicated disorders.

For example, Diane Wara, MD, leads the program that provides clinical care for children and adolescents throughout Northern California who are infected with HIV, as well as conducting research on how to prevent transmission of HIV to newborns. At UCSF Children’s Hospital, Wara treated the first babies with AIDS, before HIV was even identified.

Under the direction of Wara and her team, the pediatric AIDS program at UCSF Children’s Hospital has made such progress in the discovery and treatment of the disease that some of their patients have grown from infancy to adolescence and are now entering college.