The 2008 Pan-Mass Challenge Is In The Books

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.


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