This year, for the third year in a row, I’m riding the Pan-Mass Challenge. For those of you unfamiliar with the event, the PMC is a 2-day ride across Massachusetts that is the largest single fundraiser for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston (if you would like to sponsor my ride, my fundraising page is: http://bit.ly/PMC2010). Riders raised $30 million last year alone, and $270 million since the event began in 1980. This video from the PMC organization features founder Billy Starr explaining the origin and mission:
Last year, my second riding the PMC, was a remarkable one. Highlights? Rather than a duo, my group of friends became a sextet, training together and riding together. We called ourselves the “5:37 Club” for the time we would leave on weekend rides. It appears the group will stay intact this year, and perhaps gain another member or two:
Training was better last year, in no small part due to the group members pushing each other, along with a new bike, and I finished the ride stronger, faster and feeling better than the first year.
The ride was also marked by the many people I knew and recognized along the was- people I know through my professional and online social networks, such as Ted McEnroe and Gerry “Realtyman” Bourgeois, other Newton, Mass. neighbors, my old colleague Karen Given from NPR’s “Only a Game” and riders we encountered on some of our longer preparation rides, such as Tom the cancer survivor- and longtime PMC rider- who entertained us with stories about his son’s cross-country cycling trek.
Last but not least, were those of you who made the most difficult part of the PMC a success. Despite the recession, and the slightly lowered overall goal of the PMC fundraising effort, with your help fundraising increased 41% from 2008 to 2009, and the average donation was 22% higher. We also exceeded my goal by 18%, taking in nearly $5,000 together to fight cancer.
I was and remain grateful, and showed those of you who let me by profiling you in a series of 25 “PMC Heroes” posts (find them here: http://doughaslam.com/category/pan-mass-challenge/). I’m consdiering ideas for another interesting series of posts to mark this year’s effort, so stay tuned.
Please help me and the PMC beat cancer again this year. My goal is $4,200 but I consider that a minimum, not an endpoint. I think we can exceed expectations again. To donate and sponsor my ride, please go to: http://bit.ly/PMC2010.