A Haute Look Inside The Record-Breaking Pan-Mass Challenge

More than 6,000 riders from more than 40 states and seven countries are gearing up for this weekend’s Pan-Mass Challenge, an annual bike-a-thon that has raised more than $547 million since its inception in 1980 to raise money for adult and pediatric cancer care and research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

The two-day fundraising event, which raises more money for charity than any other single athletic fundraising event in the country, offers one and two-day rides with routes covering everywhere from Sturbridge to Provincetown.

Pan-Mass ChallengePhoto Credit: Pan-Mass Challenge

Riders for the 38th annual PMC being held tomorrow and Sunday (August 5 and 6) have the option of choosing one of 12 routes ranging from 25 to 192 miles. (Each cyclist is required to raise between $500 and $7,800, depending on the chosen route).

Pan-Mass ChallengePhoto Credit: Pan-Mass Challenge

From avid cyclists riding in honor or memory of a loved one to cancer survivors and current patients, through much admitted sweat equity, the Pan-Mass Challenge has created some incredible relationships throughout its inception, including more than 4,000 volunteers donating their time, and 200 corporations providing more than $7 million in products and services again year. The PMC is presented by the Red Sox Foundation and New Balance.

Pan-Mass ChallengePhoto Credit: Pan-Mass Challenge

“This is our 38th year and we have a goal of raising $48 million this year and we are already crushing it,” Billy Starr, the PMC’s founder and executive director, said in a phone interview. “The event is a very sophisticated, multi-day-athon that is highly customized for an upwardly mobile demographic. I lost my mother to cancer and she was my initial motivation to create this event in 1980. When my mother became ill, it really rocked my world. Today, the event has been replaced by something more powerful. We have already raised over half a billion dollars through this ride. This is our eleventh year of passing through 100 percent of all rider-raised revenues to Dana-Farber.”

PMC Founder Billy Star Photo Credit: Bill Brett

The PMC pioneered the $4 billion athletic fundraising industry and is Dana-Farber’s largest single contributor, raising more than 52 percent of the annual revenue at The Jimmy Fund. This year, the PMC’s goal of raising $48 million to support patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber will bring the organization’s 38-year contribution to Dana-Farber to more than $595 million.

Pan-Mass ChallengePhoto Credit: Pan-Mass Challenge