Pan Mass Challenge and The Club by George Foreman III
Founded in 1980, the annual Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) brings together over 6,000 riders from across the world to bike across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and raise funds for life-saving cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. This is one of the most successful fundraising campaigns in the nation.
Over this two-day event, cyclists ride 192 miles across Massachusetts, challenging themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally. The Club is proud to Sponsor for the PMC. David Bergeron, representing The Club as the PMC Head Trainer and Wellness Provider, shares his story of this year’s PMC ride.
I will start by saying that the PMC is one of the most amazing events to be a part of. To be one of the 6,000 riders making the push across the state, working to raise money to fight cancer is truly amazing.
The weekend is all at once mind-blowing, exhausting, thrilling, and an emotional roller coaster. On Friday we start off by heading down to the start in Sturbridge MA, get our bikes all set, and do our final check-through. We get settled into our hotel rooms, organize our stuff for the ride and start the carb-loading process. We eat until we can’t eat anymore and then eat again. We spend time with friends relaxing, chatting about our training, the different rides we’ve done, and where did them.
Saturday morning starts at 4, where you head down for breakfast and make all final preps of the bike. At 5:30 AM the ride is on its way, shortly after the National Anthem. Six water stops, 110 miles, thousands of cheering friends, family, loved ones, individuals who have won the fight, and people still in the fight against the disease, cheering us on each and every mile. There is simply nothing like it. (WhyIFight Bergeron)
Saturday evening is a fun event, filled with music, drinks, food and friends, gathering to share the experience of the first day, and talk about the plan for the second day. Day two starts early for me around 4:30AM, as I take off with a few friends with my headlight on, to go over the Bourne Bridge and make my way to the canal. The canal ride is one of the more beautiful rides in the morning. The sun literally looks like it is coming out of the water with so many amazing colors. The cold breeze feels amazing, as I knew it was going to be hot day on the round.
82 miles later, we are at the finish, ending as a team riding in side by side, thrilled that we all made it safely. There are a lot of smiles, hugs, and high-fives, knowing we did our part in fundraising for the PMC. Our team had a lot of emotional journeys throughout this past year. Everyone has their own journey, leading up to and during the actual PMC event, but some things really hit home this year. It reminds us that we are not invincible, and we know that at any point we or our loved ones could fighting a very personal battle with cancer. This year I saw friends and family lose people close to them because of this disease, and a lot of them didn’t even have the chance to say goodbye. This disease has no feelings and takes what it wants and when it wants to. It’s going to take a nation to stand up to it.
My first ride was in 2008, and during that ride I came across a girl around the age of 8, holding a sign that said, “I am here because of you, thank you.” Each year I get on my bike to ride, and to fight for those who can’t fight for themselves, in hopes that they too can say this same thing one day. I believe in standing up for those who can’t fight, who have been struck down by this disease. I hope one day we can say ALL cancer has a cure. #everybodyfightscancer