It takes more than courage to cure cancer


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Pan-Mass Challenge
August 2 – 3, 2014

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2013 turned out to be a record-breaking year for the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) with a record $39,000,000 gift to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through the Jimmy Fund for life-saving cancer research and treatment. This $39 million represents 100% of all rider raised dollars and, proudly, the PMC is the nation’s largest single athletic charity event in the country.

2014 marks the 35th anniversary of the first ride as well as a new goal of $40,000,000 goal which will bring the 35 year total to over $450,000,000.

Connecting athleticism to charitable fundraising was a new idea in 1980 when PMC Founder Billy Starr and 35 of his friends rode across Massachusetts and raised $10,200 for cancer research. Today, athletic events raise more than $1 billion each year, funding crucial programs at health and human service organizations across the country. The PMC leads the pack. The bike-a-thon raises and contributes more than twice the sum of any athletic fundraising event in the country and has raised more than $414 million since it started in 1980. It is also the most efficient. Since 2007, the PMC has donated 100 percent of every rider-raised dollar directly to the cause.

The PMC is so respected in cycling and fundraising circles that each year people travel from all over the world to participate. Cyclists choose between twelve routes that range from 25 to 192 miles. The camaraderie shared by cyclists, volunteers, and supporters is among the PMC's greatest attributes. Doctors at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute join their patients as teammates to ride for a unified goal. Nearly 300 PMC cyclists and volunteers are cancer survivors or current patients. Thousands of riders have lost loved ones to the disease. Still more ride in honor of those in treatment.

The PMC fundraising minimum is between $500 and $5,000, depending on the route chosen, yet the average PMC cyclist raises over $7,000. This commitment to the fundraising portion of the PMC journey is a testament to riders' dedication to the cause and their belief in the PMC mission. Hundreds have been members of the PMC family for more than 20 years. The PMC averages an annual 70 percent rider retention rate, and because of the high demand, each January, registration for most routes closes within weeks of opening. From organizing luggage and unloading trucks to cooking meals and manning waterstops, more than 3,300 PMC volunteers fill jobs that are typically paid positions, thus enhancing the event's efficiency and culture of giving. The PMC is presented by the Red Sox Foundation and the New Balance Foundation. Another 200 companies support the event through donations of goods, services, and money.

"The PMC has made what we do at Dana-Farber possible," says Edward J. Benz Jr., MD, president of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. "When they write the history of how cancer was conquered, the PMC will be in chapter one."

For more information about the PMC, visit

riders from the 2013 Pan-Mass Challenge

Photo: Metrodesign

Jack O'Riordan

Jack O'Riordan

Jack, a young cancer survivor, has become an annual source of motivation for many of those pedaling up to 190 miles in the annual PMC.

PMC Gallery

PMC riders

View photos from along the route of the 2013 PMC. This year, there were tough riders, beautiful sunsets, cowbell encouragement, and much more.

View photo gallery


PMC riders

Watch these inspirational videos about the PMC.




What a Bike Was Meant To Do