Get ready to make way as hundreds of cyclists this weekend whiz through Wellesley in a bid to raise money for cancer research and treatment for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund. The Aug. 6 – 7 Pan-Mass Challenge annual cycling event is one that attracts thousands of riders every year who train for months and tirelessly fundraise to support the fight against cancer in kids and adults. Many of the riders will start and finish at Babson College. The goal for the overall event, which will feature more than 5,500 riders who individually will ride routes that range from 47 to 190 miles as part of a two-day ride, is to raise $46 million.
In all, over 150 riders from Wellesley are taking part in the event, and many others are volunteering. Among Wellesley riders: Jeffrey Kaplan, who is participating in his 10th PMC; Sean Milano, who rides in memory of his sister-in-law, who succumbed to cancer last year at age 51; and Jesse Boehm (who rides for his wife Julie, a Wellesley High School biology teacher and a 10-year survivor of tongue cancer). Click here to donate to riders from Wellesley and other communities.
But perhaps the most determined returnee to the ride is Harry Clark, an amazing young man and WHS student who completed his first Pan Mass Challenge last year. He has been fighting an inoperable brain tumor that has left him legally blind and is riding on a tandem bike with his mom, Eunice Groark. Their fundraising goal is $15,000, and his mom says that all of it “will go to Harry’s oncology team at Dana Farber to help find a targeted therapy to stop Harry’s type of tumor from growing.” You can support them here.
Riders will be heading off from host Babson College at 7am Saturday, with some circling back to Wellesley, and others going to Bourne or Provincetown over the weekend. Here are the route details as the race goes through town: At 7 am on Saturday, the riders will pass through Forest St and continue towards Needham on route to Bourne. At 7:30 am on Sunday Aug. 3, riders will depart Wellesley through Forest St and continue towards Needham. Cyclists will return to Wellesley by Forest St to end at Babson College between 8am and 1:10 pm (so you might want to avoid driving in those areas at that time but find a way over there to cheer riders alongside the route).
The event has a long history of great weather, so let’s keep our fingers crossed that history repeats itself, and may the wind be at the backs of all the riders, and their gear changes all be smooth, and their tires remain inflated.