Three Arizona cyclists to race in Pan-Mass Challenge, donate to cancer research

(Submitted Photo)

Three riders from Arizona will cycle up to 192 miles Saturday, Aug. 4 and Sunday, Aug. 5 in the Pan-Mass Challenge with the goal of topping last year’s record-breaking gift and raising $52 million for critical cancer research and patient care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

The three cyclists are David Kaple of Scottsdale, Owen Murakami from Phoenix and Michael Tomlinson from Chandler, according to a press release.

During PMC weekend, over 6,300 cyclists from 43 states and 10 countries will gather in Massachusetts to participate in the PMC. Riders include everyone from seasoned triathletes to weekend warriors and range in age from 13-85.

Many ride to honor a family member or friend lost to or being treated for cancer while 914 riders and volunteers are cancer survivors or current patients themselves and considered Living Proof of the PMC mission, a release states.

Designed to cater to all levels of cycling and fundraising ability, the PMC offers 12 different routes, varying in mileage and difficulty, that pass through 46 towns across the Commonwealth, with starting lines in Sturbridge, Wellesley and Bourne.

Cyclists are required to raise between $600 and $8,000, depending on the chosen route, though the average cyclist raises more than $7,000, which exemplifies the spirit of the PMC and its riders.

Volunteers, spectators, donors and sponsors are also part of the camaraderie on ride weekend, all working together in hopes of one day eradicating cancer.

“After surpassing our goal and raising $51 million for Dana-Farber last year, we are excited to keep the momentum going as we approach our 39th PMC ride weekend,” Billy Starr, founder and executive director of the PMC, said in a prepared statement.

“We are continuously humbled by the dedication and generosity of our riders, volunteers, donors, sponsors and community members – it’s thanks to them that the PMC is able to make such an immense impact on the fight against cancer. We hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable ride weekend and can’t wait to see you all out on the road.”

The PMC donates 100 percent of every rider-raised dollar directly to Dana-Farber through the its fundraising arm, the Jimmy Fund, and is the institute’s largest single contributor, raising more than 53 percent of the Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue.

In 2017, the PMC gave a record gift of $51 million to Dana-Farber, bringing it’s 38-year contribution to a total of more than $598 million since its inception in 1980.

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