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Pan-Mass Challenge Rolls Through Mendon Saturday
I'd encourage everyone to get up a little earlier than normal on what looks to be a beautiful Saturday morning this coming weekend to see the most inspirational parade you could ever imagine. The Pan- Mass Challenge, a cycling and fundraising staple since 1980, will once again be making
its way through the area as thousands of cyclists make the 112-mile trek from Sturbridge to Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Bourne.
Many of you know what the PMC is
all about. The two-day bike-a-thon raises money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the various aspects of its life- changing and life-saving work. The PMC raises more money than any single charity event and this year has the goal of bringing in $52 million with every rider-raised dollar going to benefit the cause.
That number, $52 million, is proudly plastered on the Green Monster at Fenway Park, and all signs point to hitting the mark this year.
The final few days before the PMC can be
a bit stressful, even for veteran riders, like myself, who has ridden in a number of the bike-a-thons. There's the constant worry about whether we've trained enough and whether our bikes are in shape for the ride. There's a lot of logistics to worry about too, including packing for an overnight stay
at MMA and making sure we have all the items we'll need for the ride itself.
This is why support is such a big deal. Donations are huge, they are the key to this whole thing. My team has raised over $100,000 so far and I am well on my way to hitting my $5,000 goal. But whether or not you've donated to a rider, having people on the side of the road to cheer us on, spray us with a hose on a hot day or remind us how many (or few) miles we have until the next
water stop can make all the difference in the world.
Every year, when the ride gets tough and it seems like the finish line is hours away, a sign from a cancer survivor, or a parent of a child being treated at Dana-Farber or the smiling face of someone in the middle of the toughest battle of their lives is just the pick up a rider needs to press forward to the end.
Riders leave Sturbridge at 5:30 a.m. and by 7 a.m. or so will begin rolling down Rt. 16, onto Maple St. past Mendon Town Hall, and down Providence St. toward Bellingham, Franklin and beyond.
So get up a little early, grab a coffee, make a sign and help us all remember that no one rides alone.




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