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PMC Blog

About the PMC Blog

Read stories from Pan-Mass Challenge riders and volunteers about why they PMC, stay up to date on PMC news, learn about upcoming events and more!

Latest Blog Posts

Why I PMC - Emma Earls by Melissa Earls

May 23, 2019 12:48:48 PM

#WhyIPMC guest blog written by Melissa Earls (10+ year volunteer and Sturbridge Kids Ride Coordinator) for Emma Earls

Emma's PMC Volunteer Story:

Emma never met her grandfather. He passed away from pancreatic cancer several years before she was born. When Emma was a toddler our family attended a local fundraiser held to benefit cancer research. Emma made a Christmas ornament and wrote, "I miss you, Grandpa" on the back. Emma is now 16, and I still hang that ornament each holiday season - with a mixture of deep sadness and enormous pride. 

Emma and Mom
Emma first rideEmma's uncles have ridden in the "Big PMC" for years. We live in Sturbridge, where it is difficult not to know the PMC is in town. Emma was very used to getting up in the middle of the night to take one or both uncles to the Sturbridge Host for the start of the ride, and to meet me as I volunteered for a shift or two. Soon, she was eager to participate in our local Kids Ride, which was enjoying its inaugural event in 2012. Emma was a "Heavy Hitter" from the start, and earned "Breakaway Fundraiser" status the first two years it was offered. She still displays her certificates and shows off her backpacks. When she was too old to ride herself, she volunteered to assist us in coordinating the Sturbridge Kids Ride. Last year, Emma was finally old enough to join the teen and adult volunteers at the Big Ride. She was all energy and smiles as she worked in the apparel store at the Host on Friday. This year, she watched her email vigilantly and waited for Alumni Volunteer Registration to open. She was eager to sign up for a spot on the coveted Rider Registration crew, with her mom and friends. She was thrilled to learn she responded to the email in time, and will be at Rider Reg in Sturbridge this August. 

Emma and Billy

For our family, the PMC is family, and PMC Weekend is a holiday. Emma is an amazing young person and she makes us proud every single day - but when I watch her volunteer for a PMC event, the incredible love I have for her simply overflows. I know that my Dad is with us in those moments, and this is one way I can be sure Emma's connection to him is real and meaningful.

Emma at store

Emma's Mom 
Melissa Earls

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2adj-2018 Finish-_Family

Why I PMC - John Boryk

May 22, 2019 12:24:23 PM

#WhyIPMC guest blog by John Boryk, 2-year rider


For several years I have gone to the opening ceremonies in support of my brother-in-law, Dennis Kirrane (a 10-year rider this year). He started riding in memory of my father, Dick Boryk, who passed from pancreatic cancer in 2007. For a few years he has asked me to join him in riding and in 2017 after watching him finish in Provincetown, he truly inspired me to do this challenge. So in 2018, I registered in January, bought a road bike in March, and started really training. The entire event, from all of the training, to the opening ceremonies, seeing family at the start, riding with Dennis, the RAIN, the people, the volunteers, seeing family again at the finish line, was such a great experience for my family and myself. Now I am COMMITTED and will be riding again this year.

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Why I PMC - Pete Dickason

May 16, 2019 11:21:06 AM

#WhyIPMC guest blog by Pete Dickson, 22-year rider, Heavy Hitter, Captain Team Ruby Wines

I ride for my friends Fran “Dude” Brennen and Dr. Joe Vita.  Both lost their battles 4 years ago.  Fran was diagnosed as a child and fought for 50+ years.  He was a well-known character around town at Dana and had the ability to put a smile on anyone’s face.  I’ll never forget his spirit and optimism even while he was going through chemo.  Fran was one of the main reasons I began riding in 1998. 

TRW jersey

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Why I PMC - Virginia Ann Brophy

May 15, 2019 4:48:54 PM

#WhyIPMC guest blog by Virginia Ann Brophy, 3-year rider, Team Berio Rockland Trust

Pan Mass Finish 2018I have participated in this ride twice; my 1st ride was in 1988 in honor of my father who died of cancer that year; my 2nd ride was in 2018 in honor of my sister Martha who succumbed to cancer in 2016. If I were to devote one annual ride to each friend and family member that has suffered and/or died from this disease, sadly I would be riding for decades. I have witnessed the difference research makes; I have friends and family that, despite a dire initial diagnosis, have successfully, and healthily lived with cancer for years due to their respective participations in test studies. These studies are only made possible through funding and while it may seem like just a budget line item, it is literally the difference between life and death for too many, including my sister – for them it's a race against time.

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Presenting the Official PMC 2019 Cycling Jersey by New Balance

May 15, 2019 11:25:03 AM


This is the official rider jersey of the 40th Pan-Mass Challenge!

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PMC Increases Goal to $60 Million with $1 Million Challenge from Patrick Byrne

May 13, 2019 3:08:29 PM

After 20 years away, Patrick Byrne returned to the Heavy Hitter stage Friday night and did what he does best: he raised the ante. At the close of his comments to 700 Heavy Hitters assembled at the InterContinental Boston, Byrne declared that if the PMC raises $60 million - $2 million more than the posted $58 million goal - he would kick in an additional $1 million! The crowd voted "yes" with their applause.

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