I’m Riding the Pan-Mass Challenge Again

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:

Billy Starr – My Road to the PMC from David Hellman on Vimeo.

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:

PMC 2009 - Doug Haslam's Ride

Most of 2009's "5:37 Club"

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.

PMC 2009 - Doug Haslam's Ride

Gerry "Realtyman" Bourgeois (right) with me at the 2009 start.

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.

Thank you.

A Personal Appeal for Bone Marrow Donors

If you have been to this blog before, you probably know that I have worked hard to raise money for my participation in the Pan-Mass Challenge– to fight cancer. Both inspired and impressed, I have also been a fan of Drew Olanoff’s clever “BlameDrewsCancer” campaign, conceived in the face of his own cancer diagnosis.

In the course of my fundraising, I have declined to name any people or people close to me with cancer, though there have been (and continues to be) some. However, I did want to highlight the plight of a friend, and with that remind people of something else they can do- consider becoming a bone marrow donor.

Janelle James, niece of my oldest friend, Bruce James (literally my oldest, we lived across the street from each other from the day we were born), and daughter of his older brother David, is facing a fight with leukemia that requires a bone marrow transplant. If you happen to be in the Lawrence, Massachusetts or Derry, New Hampshire area, you can join the marrow registry during a drive on September 29 (see flyer below), and potentially help Janelle or someone like her.

If you are elsewhere, there is information at Marrow.org on joining the marrow registry, as well as information about what is involved. It’s a bit more of a commitment than writing a check, but to save a life…

Will you think about it?

By the way, the Derry, NH info is below, but Lawrence time and location for the 9/29  Marrow registry is:

Techprint Inc., 137 Marston Street, Lawrence, MA 01841
Time: 1:00PM – 2:30PM, Tuesday, September 29th

janelle

Pan-Mass Challenge 2009: A Rider’s Eye View

Well, I did it. We did it.

The Pan-Mass Challenge is over, and this, my second time riding in the event, was a fantastic time.

First of all, a huge thank you to all of you who supported me- not just the financial sponsors, though that is the big part without which we cannot fight cancer (by the way, fundraising remains open until October 1- go to http://pmc.org/DH0159 to sponsor). I also thank those who supported me with words of encouragement, with invitations to spin classes, with your blog comments, Facebook posts, and Twitter greetings. Not to mention, the 5:37 club (Mitch, Eddie, Steve, Keith and Kent), who made training a lot more fun this year. Every little bit helped me go a little further and a little faster.

PMC 2009 - Doug Haslam's Ride

The 5:37 Club, Ready to Roll in Wellesley

On to the ride: the weather was fantastic. Day One was sunny, and even got a little hot, but my group rode swiftly (though there was a small mishap with one of my crew) and we got in to Bourne feeling great. Here is some video I took with the Flip Camera mounted on my handlebars:

That evening in Bourne, I ran into several people I knew, which made the day a lot more lively- and familiar- than last year. Among them was Tom, the cancer survivor (“Living Proof”) who rode a few miles with our training club. He makes a cameo in the Day Two video, riding in front of me for a few seconds with his funky helmet (designed by his wife) in view.

Day Two was an even faster ride- a pleasant surprise for me, as last year I really hit a wall and thought I might not make it. The skies were overcast, which made for very nice, cooler weather, though there was enough of a sunrise by the Cape Cod Canal to note (this also appears for a little in the Day Two video).

Arriving in Provincetown was a triumph. While the trip is only ten miles longer than the Wellesley return I did last year, it means a lot to go to the traditional finish (I actually went to the Family Finish rather than the Provincetown Inn, something I may change in the future. Anyway, here’s a “Rider’s Eye” view of Day Two:

I did not take as many photos this year, but here is the set from what I did take. Again, thank you to everyone- and while I still hope to collect more donations for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute before October 1, I am already thinking about next year!

Pan-Mass Challenge Heroes #25: Greg Peverill-Conti

This is an ongoing series profiling some of the people I believe to be the real heroes of the Pan-Mass Challenge: the sponsors who donate their money to fund cancer research.

We have reached my minimum fundraising goal, but we can still use help from more people like these Heroes. Please considering joining them by donating any amount to http://pmc.org/DH0159.

greg
Greg Peverill-Conti, “Greg PC” is a stalwart member of the Boston public relations and social media community, and definitely one of its more fun members. He is a standout photographer; see his Flickr account where he has started a “1,000s of Faces” project, and also a group for others to join. You can see more of Greg at his blog, “Over the River.”

More from Greg:

I sponsored you because I appreciate the effort you’re making. I’m lucky, my family and immediate circle of friends haven’t been touched by cancer but I think that’s only a matter of luck and it’s only a matter of time until that changes.

In terms of hearing about the PMC, it’s been something that’s always been there so I’ve been vaguely aware of it for years. It was really when you did it last year and I read about what you were doing on Twitter that I started paying more attention. Once I started paying attention though I realized that several people I know have participated.

An interesting fact about me . . . At the moment, the thing I’m enjoying the most is photographing people – random people – in ways that allow them and others to see and appreciate just how wonderful people are.


Greg, thank you for sponsoring me. And thank you, everyone who has supported the Pan-Mass Challenge in any way. Please consider joining Greg Peverill-Conti to sponsor my ride and fight cancer: http://pmc.org/DH0159. Please feel free to pass the link to others as well.

Pan-Mass Challenge Heroes #24: Jennifer Leggio

This is an ongoing series profiling some of the people I believe to be the real heroes of the Pan-Mass Challenge: the sponsors who donate their money to fund cancer research.

We have reached my minimum fundraising goal, but we can still use help from more people like these Heroes. Please considering joining them by donating any amount to http://pmc.org/DH0159.

leggio

Jennifer Leggio is yet another one of the fascinating people I have met through my work- both professional and personal- in online social networking. I know her best from her ZDNet “Social Business” blog, and she also has started a “Quick ‘n’ Dirty” Podcast with fellow sponsor and friend Aaron Strout. Also, find Jennifer on Twitter; she is @MediaPhyter and worth a follow. I say these nice things about her despite the fact that she is a San Jose Sharks fan.

One other thing: Jennifer is also an athletic fundraiser, running in the Nike Women’s Marathon to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Please give her page a look as well.

More from Jennifer:

– Why did you sponsor me in the Pan-Mass Challenge?

One, it’s a wonderful cause. It raises money yet also creates awareness, as it did with me. I didn’t know before the Pan-Mass Challenge existed and I’m glad now that I do. Two, you’ve always been so supportive and positive, and I wanted to return the favor.


– How did you first hear about the Pan-Mass Challenge?

It was actually from you. :-)


– Name one interesting fact or story that makes you unique and interesting

I was in the circus when I was a little kid. I went to Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus with my family and they were looking for kids to ride in one of the clown cars. My mom volunteered me. So I rode around, terrified, and got a paper sheriff’s badge for my trouble. How many kids can say that? I guess only the ones whose family drags them to the circus.


Jennifer, thank you for sponsoring me. And thank you, everyone who has supported the Pan-Mass Challenge in any way. Please consider joining Jennifer Leggio to sponsor my ride and fight cancer: http://pmc.org/DH0159. Please feel free to pass the link to others as well.

Pan-Mass Challenge Heroes #23: Carol and Steve Garfield

This is an ongoing series profiling some of the people I believe to be the real heroes of the Pan-Mass Challenge: the sponsors who donate their money to fund cancer research.

We have reached my minimum fundraising goal, but we can still use help from more people like these Heroes. Please considering joining them by donating any amount to http://pmc.org/DH0159.

Maui Balcony

Carol and Steve Garfield are sponsoring my ride for the second time. Steve (find all his work at http://stevegarfield.com) is one of the folks I met dating back to the original Boston Podcamp in 2006, and is well known here- and elsewhere- as a videoblogger. Just as important, he contributes constantly to the community by sharing his knowledge and showing others the tools to become media makers on their own. Carol is a frequent presence at social media events along with Steve, and as noted below, is an active participatn in videoblogging in her own right.

More from Steve:

– Why did you sponsor me in the Pan-Mass Challenge?

We sponsored you because you asked. We are supporters of Dana Farber and the Jimmy Fund and in addition to our regular donation, we decided to support your effort because you made it personal.

“This time it’s personal.” :-)

Also, I #BlameDrewsCancer.

– Name one interesting fact or story that makes you unique and interesting

I’ve been videoblogging since 2004 and have a little show called The Carol and Steve Show that’s a fun little side project that Carol and I produce together to share life’s little moments. Your readers can find it at http://carolandsteveshow.com, which links to a YouTube account, where I’ve been archiving past episodes.

Here’s a recent episode:

While I’m at it, here’s a bit more from Steve, interviewed by the “Open University” about social media and education.


Steve and Carol, thank you for sponsoring me. And thank you, everyone who has supported the Pan-Mass Challenge in any way. Please consider joining Carol and Steve Garfield to sponsor my ride and fight cancer: http://pmc.org/DH0159. Please feel free to pass the link to others as well.

*Photo credit: Steve Garfield

Pan-Mass Challenge Heroes #22: Amy Mengel

This is an ongoing series profiling some of the people I believe to be the real heroes of the Pan-Mass Challenge: the sponsors who donate their money to fund cancer research.

We have reached my minimum fundraising goal, but we can still use help from more people like these Heroes. Please considering joining them by donating any amount to http://pmc.org/DH0159.

Amy Mengel is a type of sponsor that really impresses me– an avid biker that is showing support for someone who is (believe me) less experienced and skilled on two wheels- but believe me, I appreciate the confidence. Amy blogs at http://www.amymengel.com and adds more here:

– Why did you sponsor me in the Pan-Mass Challenge?

I’m an avid cyclist myself but haven’t had the opportunity to do a long-distance ride like PMC yet. I really admire riders who do these endurance rides like PMC, the MS-150, the FANY or the Ride for Missing Children. They all raise money for great causes and also inspire the riders to train harder and adds a little sense of purpose to their rides.

– How did you first hear about the Pan-Mass Challenge?

I think I’ve been vaguely aware of PMC for a few years now, probably from bicycletour.com. My husband and I are always looking for new places to explore on our bikes and have done the Five Boro Bike Ride in New York, Bike Philly, and Velo QC’s Tour of Montreal. We’re hoping to do Hub on Wheels in Boston this fall and we check out bicycletour.com and similar sites to scout out rides. We’ve seen PMC posted on sites like that before but you’re the first rider I know who’s ever undertaken it and I became more aware of the particulars of the event via your Tweets these last few months.

– Are you giving in the name or memory of someone you know who has had cancer?

Melody Lape, the mother of one of my good friends, passed away from stomach cancer in 2003. She was 47.

– Name one interesting fact or story that makes you unique and interesting

I live in the town of Stillwater, N.Y., which is where the Battle of Saratoga (turning point of the American Revolution) was fought. The battlefields are now a Naitonal Historial Park (http://www.nps.gov/SARA) with a great bike loop in it. It’s my favorite place to ride.


Amy, thank you for sponsoring me. And thank you, everyone who has supported the Pan-Mass Challenge in any way. Please consider joining Amy Mengel to sponsor my ride and fight cancer: http://pmc.org/DH0159. Please feel free to pass the link to others as well.

Pan-Mass Challenge Heroes #21: Kellye Crane

This is an ongoing series profiling some of the people I believe to be the real heroes of the Pan-Mass Challenge: the sponsors who donate their money to fund cancer research.

We have reached my minimum fundraising goal, but we can still use help from more people like these Heroes. Please considering joining them by donating any amount to http://pmc.org/DH0159.

hat pic

Kellye Crane is another one of the member sof the online PR community that I have not met, but feel like I know as a group of supportive friends (just see her comments below). She blogs at Solo PR Pro, and adds more here:

– Why did you sponsor me in the Pan-Mass Challenge?

I’ve never met Doug in person, but I’m a huge admirer of his work and leadership in PR and social media. (note: I’m tempted to edit this– it’s too much- but at the risk of seeming immodest, I won’t- it’s the leadership I find in others like Kellye that makes me better. I’m just a member of the community) How does someone with such a high professional workload also undertake something like the Pan-Mass Challenge? I’m in awe. Giving a donation to benefit cancer research is the least I could do.

– How did you first hear about the Pan-Mass Challenge?

I actually did become aware of the PMC through your ride. Connie Reece (of the Frozen Pea Fund) is a great friend, and the fact that she’s such a supporter speaks volumes.

– Are you giving in the name or memory of someone you know who has had cancer?

The gift is for many. In one dreadful 12 month period, I lost my father, a dear aunt, and one of my best friends to different forms of cancer. Three years later, not a day goes by that I don’t think about the bravery of these loved ones, and I know we must make eradicating cancer one of our top priorities.

– Name one interesting fact or story that makes you unique and interesting

Ouch, the pressure! Perhaps it’s interesting that I had visited all 50 U.S. states by the time I was 13. With the exception of Hawaii, all of the traveling was done by car and almost exclusively via America’s campgrounds. As an adult, I always say I’ve met my lifetime quota for camping – no more Coleman lanterns for me!


Kellye,, thank you for sponsoring me. And thank you, everyone who has supported the Pan-Mass Challenge in any way. Please consider joining Kellye Crane to sponsor my ride and fight cancer: http://pmc.org/DH0159. Please feel free to pass the link to others as well.

Pan-Mass Challenge Heroes #20: Gary Lombardo

This is an ongoing series profiling some of the people I believe to be the real heroes of the Pan-Mass Challenge: the sponsors who donate their money to fund cancer research.

I have just $150 left to raise as I write this I have reached my minimum fundraising goal (with just 8 days left to go!), but I can’t get there without but there is no reason we can’t have more help from more people like these Heroes. Please considering joining them by donating any amount to http://pmc.org/DH0159.

Gary Lombardo is a constant presence in the online social media community, and has a keen interest in personal training and sports – his coaching website is: www.ascendsportsconditioning.com , which includes
Ascending Higher, his multisport blog. He also blogs about social media at: www.garylombardo.com

More from Gary:

– Why did you sponsor me in the Pan-Mass Challenge?

I sponsored the Pan-Mass Challenge because I am an avid cyclist and coach and love to see people embrace the sport for the purposes of their own well-being the well-being of others. It’s a huge challenge to ride the distances of the PMC and nothing is more inspirational to me than to see people achieve their goals & help impact the lives of others in the process.

– How did you first hear about the Pan-Mass Challenge?

I’ve had friends and family who have ridden the PMC over the years, which is how I have heard of it. It’s also has gained a lot of momentum over the years– I can’t seem to go for a ride on my bike without seeing another rider with a PMC jersey– it has great reach!

– Are you giving in the name or memory of someone you know who has had cancer ?

Many members of my family and several friends have died of cancer over the years. I am giving in memory of all of them.

– Name one interesting fact or story that makes you unique and interesting

Hmmmmmm…..I am bit of an adventure-type and have done some interesting things over the years. The few weeks I spent in Nepal are among the best. I had the chance to go to Base Camp 1 of Mount Everest and explore some towering local peaks, but most importantly get to know the local people and culture. Nothing tops sharing a yak milk tea with a newly made Sherpa friend among the towering peaks of the Himalaya. Everyone should try it at least once in their lifetime.


Gary, thank you for sponsoring me. And thank you, everyone who has supported the Pan-Mass Challenge in any way. Please consider joining Gary Lombardo to sponsor my ride and fight cancer: http://pmc.org/DH0159. Please feel free to pass the link to others as well.

Pan-Mass Challenge Heroes #19: Derek Peplau

This is an ongoing series profiling some of the people I believe to be the real heroes of the Pan-Mass Challenge: the sponsors who donate their money to fund cancer research.

I have just $175 left to raise as I write this (with only 9 days left to go!), but I can’t get there without help from more people like these Heroes. Please considering joining them by donating any amount to http://pmc.org/DH0159.

Derek Peplau

Derek Peplau is one of the members of the online community that shares my goofy passion for the Red Sox (see “Big Papelbon” for some samples from this group. It’s not a coincidence that a number of these people are also sponsors). Also, while I am loath to reveal the amounts people donate, I can’t help but mention that Derek cleverly made several donations, each in the amount of one of the Red Sox’ retired numbers.

While Derek toils for Mzinga during the day, he has just launched a new personal blog, http://derekpeplau.com. Some more from Derek:

– Why did you sponsor me in the Pan-Mass Challenge?

It’s a great event which friends of mine have ridden in in the past. I sponsored Doug because he was one of the first to welcome me into the world of Twitter (beginning with one of my first posts which was simply: “@DougH” with no other content.) Since then he’s really helped me to get grounded in the world of social media and I’ve learned a lot from him. And as a fellow Boston Red Sox and Craig Sager fan, I was only too happy to support him as he undertakes this challenge and supports the Boston community in one of the best ways he can.

– How did you first hear about the Pan-Mass Challenge?

One of my friends from my improv days is a regular rider and big proponent of the PMC.

– Are you giving in the name or memory of someone you know who has had cancer?

My maternal grandfather, Charles Grant.

– Name one interesting fact or story that makes you unique and interesting

My team won the 2008 Boston 48 Hour Film Project with our film, “The Real World: Versailles”. Over 90 teams submitted entries to the competition which requires groups to write, shoot, edit and score a short film between 7pm Friday and 7pm Sunday. Each team picks a film genre randomly (e.g. Western, Drama, Musical) and all teams get three elements which their film must incorporate (a character name, a prop, and a line of dialogue). Last year was our third year in the competition and all three films can be seen at: http://wmamfilms.com.


Derek, thank you for sponsoring me. And thank you, everyone who has supported the Pan-Mass Challenge in any way. Please consider joining Derek Peplau to sponsor my ride and fight cancer: http://pmc.org/DH0159. Please feel free to pass the link to others as well.