39th Pan-Mass Challenge launches Saturday morning

In Health

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WELLESLEY — The 39th Pan-Mass Challenge kicked off early Saturday morning with more than 6,300 cyclists participating over two days, according to event organizers.

The cyclists are aiming to reach a record-breaking goal of $52 million for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, “100 percent of which directly benefits patient care and cancer research at the hospital,” organizers said in a statement.

The event begins in Sturbridge, where the first group of riders cross the starting line at 5:30 a.m. A second group left Wellesley around 7 a.m.

More than 2,600 riders lined up under a sunny skies at Babson College in Wellesley Saturday morning before setting off though showers and potential thunderstorms may put a damper on their ride later today.

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Riders are able to choose between one-day rides and two-day rides that continue into Sunday. The longest ride stretches 192 miles from Sturbridge to Provincetown. Riders range in age from 13 to 85.

Billy Starr, PMC’s executive director, started the event in 1980 after his mother battled melanoma. The PMC is now Dana-Farber’s single largest donor, according to the statement.

Sophia Eppolito can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @SophiaEppolito.



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