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40th Pan-Mass Challenge Riding Through Mendon

In one month, the 40th Pan-Mass Challenge will roll through dozens of towns across Massachusetts, with thousands of cyclists raising millions of dollars to benefit the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
I'll be out on the road once again, participating in my ninth PMC.
Training started a little slow this year due to the chilly, wet spring. But the temperatures have risen and the skies have cleared in recent weeks and the PMC riders are out on the road in full force. The community is thousands strong. Last weekend, at the Charleston, S.C. airport, I met a man who is about to set out on his 19th PMC. The father of a close friend of mine will be riding this summer for the first time. Others have been at it through all 40 years of the event's existence.
While the temperature, the number of riders, the number of PMC events and the dollars raised — more than $650 million coming into this year — are all increasing, so too are the number of people we keep in our thoughts as we train and ask for donations.
This year, the local athletic community lost two icons to this dreaded disease, with the passing of longtime Nipmuc High School coach and athletic director Bill Leaver and Hall of Fame Milford volleyball coach Linda Zacchilli. It's sad to no longer have them as part of our community, but they also serve to inspire us to continue to do the work needed to achieve the ultimate goal of a world without cancer.
Cycling can be tough. Riding more than 100 miles and, in some cases, nearly 200 miles in a single weekend is both a physical and mental test. But remembering the guidance of these two great motivators and so many others who have battled cancer is what keeps us pedaling.
It is fitting that people like Leaver and Zacchilli, who spent their lives motivating people to achieve and showing athletes what could be accomplished by working together, continue to be inspirations today.
There are many great organizations doing tremendous work out there. But if you have the motivation and a few dollars to spare, please consider a donation to a PMC rider this summer. And be sure to wave and cheer when they come rolling through Mendon August 3.
To donate to Chris' ride, please visit PMC.org/CV0042




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