This past weekend, I rode in my fifth Pan-Mass Challenge, a 2-day cycling event across Massachusetts benefiting the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through its Jimmy Fund. I was a bit apprehensive this year since I had fallen off my bike only two weeks before the ride and fractured two ribs. As it turned out, though, the event turned out to be a huge success for the charity and for me personally. As of August 5 the stats for the PMC were:
- 5,200 riders
- 2,758 volunteers
- 157,000 contributors
- 800,000 miles cycled
- 13 emergency room visits (with 5K riders, someone’s going to crash)
- 10,000,000 people cheering along the route (it seemed that way – the number of people who come out to support the riders is incredible)
- $21,650,000 in funds raised (the goal is $32,000,000 by October)
These numbers are great and, of course, represent real money being raised for an incredible cause.
Personally, I had a great ride as well. My ribs bothered me a bit, but did not hinder me nearly as much as I had feared. I finished the first day averaging 19.3MPH and the second, 19.1MPH. These speeds are significantly up from my previous bests at these long distances set last year during the PMC – 18.3MPH and 17.3MPH, respectively. I really don’t know what to attribute the increases to – more training, better nutrition, improved technique? Maybe a little of all of these plus loads of luck?
I was really fortunate to latch onto a small paceline (a line of riders who take turns “pulling” in front, then drafting behind other riders) that ran unbroken for 40 miles on day 1. That had a huge positive impact on my time.
The weather sorta sucked on day 2, but it never rained. I also never got a flat. Rain and flats can ruin your whole day.
Thanks to all who sponsored me with donations and to the large group who offered their support and encouragement along the way.