BOSTON (AP) — The Pan Mass Challenge is going off road.
The nation’s largest single-event athletic fundraiser, whose annual cross-state bike ride has raised money for cancer treatment and research since its founding in 1980, is adding a one-day, off-road gravel ride in Massachusetts’ Berkshires this fall.
Dubbed PMC Unpaved, it will bring together new and existing PMC riders for a new cycling event to benefit the work of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The inaugural ride is scheduled for Oct. 1 and includes 31- and 50-mile routes that will begin and end at Camp Mah-Kee-Nac in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
“We are always looking for new ways to increase our impact in the fight against cancer, and as we saw an uptick in off-road cycling interest, we knew we had to put a PMC spin on it,” PMC founder and executive director Billy Starr said in a statement. “Taking our best-in-class PMC operation established over the last 43 years and translating it to a new event with gravel riders inspired by our mission has been an invigorating experience.”
The idea for the PMC began in 1977 when Starr and a few friends rode to the tip of Cape Cod in memory of his mother, who died of melanoma at the age of 49. Since then, it has grown into the annual event with more than 10,000 volunteers and riders on 12 routes ranging from 25 to 192 miles.
Like all PMC cycling challenges, 100% of rider-raised dollars for PMC Unpaved will go directly to Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund. The PMC has contributed $831 million for cancer research and is Dana-Farber’s largest single contributor.