Date: Saturday August 4, 2012
Location: Rte. 20, Sturbridge MA
Check back for more photos to be posted Aug. 9
Billy Starr stood proudly in the parking lot at the Host Hotel on Rte. 20 in Sturbridge at 5:30 p.m. Saturday morning as thousands of bicyclists made their way across the starting line and into the morning fog, heading east. Starr, who is the founder of the Pan Mass Challenge and the event’s executive director, watched as the cyclists, who made their way to Sturbridge from 36 states and 8 countries this year, crossed the starting line to take part in the premier cycling event for a very good cause.
The Pan-Massachusetts Challenge is an annual bike-a-thon and a pioneer of the athletic fundraising industry that today raises more money for charity than any other single event in the country. The organization was founded in 1980 and has since raised $338 million for cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through its Jimmy Fund. The PMC donates 100 percent of every rider-raised dollar directly to the cause. In 2011, the PMC generated 60 percent of the Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue and it was Dana-Farber’s single largest contributor. Over 230,000 individual contributions were made to last year’s fundraising campaign. This year, PMC cyclists rode with the goal of raising $36 million for Dana-Farber.
The Pan-Massachusetts Challenge is a well organized and fully supported bike-a-thon — with food and water stops, mechanical and medical assistance, luggage transportation, and lodging — that runs through 46 towns across Massachusetts. Approximately 5,500 cyclists ride in the event each year. Cyclists choose from 11 routes of varying mileage designed to cater to all levels of cycling strength and fundraising ability. There are six two-day routes that range from 153 to 190 miles and five one-day rides that range from 25 to 110 miles. This year, cyclists were required to raise between $500 and $4,300 to ride in the PMC, depending on their chosen route.
On Saturday, some early morning PMC fans lined the race course which took the riders through the center of Oxford. As many of the riders passed, spectators lining the race course, they thanked folks for getting out of bed and coming out in the early morning fog just to cheer them on and for giving them a proper send off. These photos were taken just after 6 a.m. at Oxford’s center.
- Thursday, 09 August 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Region