Monday, August 12, 2013

PMC 2013

The Pan-Massachusetts Challenge.

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When I first heard about the event from Rachel, it sounded like something I wanted to be a part of.  I didn't quite realize how incredible it would be until last weekend.

The PMC is the largest athletic fund-raiser in the country.  Since it was founded in 1980, the PMC has raised $375 million for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  100% of rider-raised funds go directly to the Jimmy Fund.  That's pretty impressive.

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Some riders have photographs pinned to their jerseys.  Other have ribbons pinned to their jerseys.  I even saw a "Why I Ride" list of inspiration on the top tube of their bike.  Everyone's lives have been touched by cancer.  Riding in the PMC is our way of doing something about it.


There were spectators, cheering us on, thanking us.  Thanking us?  I thanked them!  The signs that said "I'm here because of you", or "15 years old, 8 year cancer survivor" really tug at the heart strings.  And then we got to Lakeville, where we were greeted by Pedal Partners, children who are being treated or have undergone advanced cancer treatment at Dana-Farber.  Talk about inspiring.

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Wellesley to Bourne
To be honest, I was so overwhelmed with the event, that I almost want to say the terrain was unremarkable.  There were a few short climbs but nothing too intense.  I had some cheerleaders at several water stops that gave me something to look forward to and helped me appreciate the extent of what we were doing this weekend.

the gang at DR-lunch stop

You meet some amazing people doing an event like the PMC.  I was lucky enough to cover many miles of training and the PMC with a special group of 'turkeys'.  Their company helped the miles fly by, and they made sure Sunday was extra special for me by serenading me with a few renditions of Happy Birthday!  I did find myself on open road sometimes, and my thoughts immediately went to everyone I was riding for.

My mom.
Aunt Kathi and Aunt Carla.
Meghan's mom.
Mom & I
Joanne's dad.
Uncle Ted.
Jack and Kay.
Bob and David.
Aunt Ange and Tony.
Laura's dad.
Aunt Rose.
Ciocio Reggie.
Ciocio Mary.

Sunrise in Bourne (Day 2)

Bourne to Provincetown
As we left Bourne Sunday morning, we were treated to a beautiful sunrise.  So gorgeous I had to stop for a picture!  The first part of the ride starts with some rollers.  Having friends waiting for me in Brewster helped get me through that first climb in Sandwich.  It gets easier for a stretch after that, with descents to match any ascents.  I found that pacelines were much more prevalent on day 2, and got more comfortable in them as the day went on.  At one point down Route 6 I was even leading a paceline!  Not sure how that happened, but I couldn't help but think I wanted to take a picture behind me :)

Check-ins along the way

As you get closer to the finish, you hit some more climbs in Truro that start to hurt.  My shoulder/neck started to give me some trouble here, but luckily enough the Welfleet water stop had a massage tent that helped ease some of my pain.  Nearing Provincetown, you have a chance to go to the "easy" way or the "fun" way to the finish line.  I chose to ride the dunes- the "fun" way, which included a few more hills and some great views.  Before I knew it I was rolling into the finish.


My Stats
Miles Ridden: 163ish
Pace: 17ish mph

PMC Stats
Total registered riders: 5,534
33% Female
20% First-year riders
Average Age: 45
Participating states: 38
Participating countries: 7
Volunteers: 3,000+

I can't think of a better way to celebrate my birthday!

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who has supported my ride, I could not have done it without you.  I have raised $5010 to date.  There's still time to contribute- click here, every dollar counts.


Delicious Dishings said...

You are amazing!!! Happy birthday!

Meghan said...

Thank you so much for doing this Shannon! Cancer is the worst. YOU are the best!

Jean said...

Shannon, I am very honored to be your are an amazing woman!!

Sacha said...

Awesome! I know someone who participated and hearing her story behind why it was important to her brought tears of joy to my eyes. Congratulations and Happy Birthday!

Joanne said...

I am so so so amazed by this!! You are such a rockstar. Thank you SO MUCH for including my dad as your inspiration.

Emily @ A Cambridge Story said...

Congratulations! What a feat. And what an inspiring cause!!

Hannah said...

Seriously incredible, inspiring stuff. Congratulations, I hope you're proud of such an amazing accomplishment, because that really takes the cake... Ack, no pun intended. ;)

Anonymous said...

Thank you Shannon! So inspirational. Living life with presence, appreciation & much love, joy since going into remission. You make the world a brighter, better place. Love, Louis xo

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