By Gina Martinez
Flushing cyclist Hoyin Tong will ride up to 192 miles in the Pan-Mass Challenge this August.
During PMC weekend on Aug. 5-6, more than 6,200 cyclists will attempt to raise $48 million for critical research and cancer care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
The cyclists come from more than 40 states and eight countries. This year they will return to Massachusetts to participate in the challenge, choosing from 12 routes of varying distances that wind through 46 towns.
Cyclists’ ages range between 15- and 84-years-old, and include seasoned triathletes and “weekend warriors” who train for this event alone.
Tong said she was inspired to participate because of her company, Sea-Dar Construction, which has been riding with Pan-Mass and fund-raising for six years.
“They were the cheerleaders to motivate me into getting out of my comfort zone and challenge myself,” Tong said. “This will be my first year doing the PMC. I think it’s fantastic that 100 percent of the proceeds go to funding of cancer research institutes. It’s 2017, and we’ve made minimal breakthroughs in something that will affect the majority of us in the future.”
According to Billy Starr, founder and executive director of the PMC, no other single athletic event raises or contributes more money to charity than the PMC.
“We are thrilled to be approaching our 38th PMC ride weekend,” he said. “Seeing our growth over the years has been truly incredible, and we look forward to achieving our fund-raising goal of $48 million for Dana-Farber. We want to wish all of our riders and volunteers a safe and enjoyable ride weekend. I’ll see everyone out on the road.”
Since 1980, the PMC has raised $547 million for Dana-Farber through the Jimmy Fund, its fund-raising arm. The PMC is Dana-Farber’s largest single contributor, raising more than 52 percent of the Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue.
Many PMC participants ride to honor a family member or friend lost to or being treated for cancer.
According to the organization, more than 600 riders and volunteers are cancer survivors or current patients, considered “Living Proof” of the PMC mission to find a cure. The average cyclist trains for three months, solicits 40 sponsors and raises more than $7,000. Volunteers, spectators, donors and sponsors are part of the camaraderie on ride weekend, all working together toward a cure.
Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmart