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FAQ

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

You have questions, we have answers:

General

What is the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC)?

The Pan-Mass Challenge is an annual bike-a-thon that raises more money for charity than any other event in the country. On the first weekend of August every year, riders on routes as short as 25 miles or as long as 211 miles participate and raise money to fight cancer. 100 percent of rider-raised dollars are donated to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for cancer research and treatment.

Will the PMC happen in 2021?

Yes, the 42nd PMC will take place on August 7 and 8, 2021. Given the need for extra public health precautions, PMC 2021 will look a little different than in past years, with limited capacity and services for riders over 16 different routes, three of which are new this year. If you’re unable to  ride one of those routes on August 7 and 8, we have a special rider category that will allow you to “Reimagine” your PMC wherever and whenever you can.

Read more about the 2021 plans here

When is the PMC?

The PMC is always held the first weekend in August. In 2021, that's Saturday, August 7, and Sunday, August 8.

Where does the PMC's fundraising go?

100 percent of every rider-raised dollar go directly to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for cancer research and treatment.

You can donate at donate.pmc.org

How much money has the PMC contributed to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute? How are those funds used?

Since its founding in 1980, the PMC has contributed $767 million to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, which uses those funds for cancer research and treatment. Our 2020 gift is $50 million.

 

Does the Pan-Mass Challenge offer other events?

In addition to PMC weekend held each August, we stage two additional programs each year – the PMC Winter Cycle and PMC Kids Rides.

  • The PMC Winter Cycle is a stationary cycling event held at Fenway Park in Boston.
    The 2021 PMC Winter Cycle is postponed and will be rescheduled for Spring 2021. Virtual rider registration is open and Fenway Park rider registration will reopen as soon as a new date is established. Read the full statement here.
  • PMC Kids Rides are community-based mini bike-a-thons for children ages 2 to 15. The next PMC Kids Rides will take place in fall 2021.

As with PMC weekend held in August, 100 percent of rider-raised funds from all PMC events – the Pan-Mass Challenge, PMC Winter Cycle and PMC Kids Rides – go directly to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

How can I participate in the PMC this year?

There are a number of ways you can participate in PMC 2021.

  • Register to ride PMC weekend – August 7 and 8, 2021. Routes range from 25 to 211 miles. The 2021 routes and fundraising minimums can be viewed by map or by chart.
  • Register as a virtual rider – Virtual riders do not ride the routes on PMC weekend but still fundraise to support Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Virtual rider registration will open in Spring 2021.
  • Volunteer on PMC weekend. PMC 2021 volunteer registration will open in the spring. Volunteers are needed before, during, and after PMC weekend.
Who can I contact at the PMC with more questions?

Visit the "Who We Are" page in the "About Us" section of the PMC website. Here you can find a list of the PMC staff, along with their contact information.

 

 

Planning Your Ride

When can I register for PMC 2021?

PMC 2021 rider registration is open to all now!

Registration first opened on January 5, 2021, for 2019 or 2020 Heavy Hitters (those who raised at least $8,500 in 2019 or at least $9,000 in 2020), for all other PMC alumni on January 12, and to the general public on January 19.

Register to ride here

What are the requirements to ride the PMC?

All PMC routes are open to riders age 15 and older. Our Sunday, one-day Wellesley routes are open to riders as young as 13; anyone under 17 will have a reduced fundraising commitment on those routes. View the routes and minimums by by map or by chart.

Riders younger than 13 can participate in a PMC Kids Ride, which are open to riders ages 2 to 15. Learn more at kids.pmc.org

Is there a registration fee to ride the PMC?

Yes, registration fees vary by route and they help cover some of the operating costs of the PMC. In order to pass on 100 percent of rider-raised revenue to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, registration fees are essential and non-refundable.

I would like to ride the Pan-Mass Challenge but am concerned about the training. What advice do you have?

The PMC offers a range of routes and fundraising commitments. Routes range from 25 to 192 miles and there are a variety fundraising commitments. PMC 2021 routes and minimums range from $1,000 to $6,000 – view the routes and minimums by map or by chart. Choose a route that fits your schedule, cycling ability and fundraising capacity.

Can I change the route I registered for?

If the route you would like to ride is still available, yes, you may change your route. Email panmass@pmc.org to request a route change. We limit the number of riders on each route and popular routes fill quickly, so your requested route may not be available.

If you switch to a route with a lower fundraising commitment than the one you originally registered for, you will still be held to your original fundraising commitment.

If you switch to a longer route with a higher fundraising commitment than the one you originally registered for, your fundraising commitment will increase to that of your new route.

Can the PMC help me find lodging for the weekend?

The PMC is able to help riders find lodging (at their expense) in the Sturbridge area for Friday night, August 6; email panmass@pmc.org to express your interest.

On Saturday night, August 7, while we normally provide lodging for two-day riders at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA), this will not be an option in 2021 due to the pandemic. We have identified 14 hotels within 5 miles of MMA and are in the process of contacting them for availability. If you are a two-day rider who needs lodging in the Bourne area on Saturday, you will have an opportunity to make that request when you register. However, we expect demand to exceed supply and encourage you to stay with friends or family if you’re able.

Will the PMC be able to help me with transportation?

Due to the pandemic, the PMC will not be able to transport riders by bus as we have in the past. This means riders will be responsible for their own transportation to the start and back home from the finish regardless of route option. Riders are welcome to join or “start” their rides at any point along the route if it is more convenient.

Note: The PMC will offer ferry transportation for registered riders, bikes, and bags from Provincetown to Boston for an additional cost, as space is available.

If I choose a point-to-point route, can the PMC carry a bag for me?

Yes, the PMC will have bag drop locations at the start of each point-to-point route (e.g., Sturbridge to Bourne) and your bag will be waiting for you at the finish. We recommend that riders limit the size and shape of the bag to something easily carried after their ride, like a backpack.

For riders who prefer to join a point-to-point route somewhere besides the start, we will have additional bag drop locations available (e.g., Sturbridge-area hotels and on the Cape Cod side of the Canal).

If I can’t make the above logistics work for me, can I still participate?

Yes, you can participate in PMC 2021 in two other ways:

  • First, the PMC offers three one-day routes that are loops, so riders can start and finish in the same place. See our routes and minimum (view by map or by chart) for details of the Foxboro 50, Wellesley 50, and Wellesley Century options, all of which will be held on Sunday, August 8.
  • Alternatively, you can participate as a Reimagined Rider, doing your PMC on a date or in a location more convenient for you. In 2020, due to the pandemic, all PMC riders reimagined their rides and still raised $50 million for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. See the routes and minimum by map or by chart for details on this option.
What does it mean to be a Reimagined Rider?

You can demonstrate your commitment to fighting cancer even if you are unable to participate in PMC weekend. Register as a Reimagined Rider – you'll still receive the official PMC jersey and other rider swag by mail in July – and you can ride whenever and wherever is most convenient for you, so long as it's not one of our organized routes on PMC weekend.

As a Reimagined Rider, can I ride a PMC route on PMC weekend?

We ask that Reimagined Riders not do their Reimagined ride on the PMC routes over PMC weekend (August 7 and 8, 2021) because it will make supporting registered riders more difficult and roads less safe for all.

Massachusetts public roads are not closed on PMC weekend. However, the PMC provides mechanical and medical road support all along the PMC route as well as at waterstops and finish lines. We expect that Reimagined Riders will prioritize everyone’s safety and either ride on a different route on PMC weekend or follow a PMC route on a different day.

How will I get my PMC rider jersey, socks, water bottle and other swag?

In July 2021, we will mail each registered rider everything you need to participate in PMC 2021, including your official jersey, water bottle, socks, and rider credentials. There will be no onsite rider registration for the PMC in 2021.

Will there be a meal or party at the finish of my route?

No, the PMC is not able to  offer sit-down meals, alcohol, or other party amenities in 2021 due to the pandemic. Protecting riders and volunteers means limiting the amount of time spent congregating in large numbers; even our bigger sites would become too crowded to allow proper distancing. We will provide ample “to go” food and beverages at the finish lines, but otherwise we ask riders not to stay at the finish site longer than is necessary. Showers or massages will not be available in 2021.

What kind of services will be provided at PMC starts and waterstops?

Every route’s start and waterstops will provide snacks and beverages, lavatories, first aid, and mechanical support.

Will you require riders to be vaccinated for COVID-19 to participate in PMC 2021?

The COVID-19 vaccines are a very encouraging development, but not everyone will be able to receive one by PMC weekend, so we will not require it for participation in 2021.

Will riders have to wear masks in the PMC?

At this time, riders should assume that they will be required to wear masks at all PMC starts, waterstops and finishes, as well as when they are receiving medical or mechanical support on the road.

If I want to ride a Saturday route and a Sunday route – but not the Century – how do I register for that?

Simply register online for the Saturday route you want, then contact the PMC at 781-449-5300 or panmass@pmc.org. We’ll add the Sunday route of your choice – space permitting – for an incremental registration fee (not to exceed $200 for both routes) and fundraising minimum (not to exceed $6,000 total).

Can I cancel my ride?

You may cancel your ride, however, upon registration all riders are committed to meet the fundraising minimum of their route whether or not they participate. The fundraising minimum deadline is October 1, 2021.

Donations & Fundraising

How can I donate to a PMC rider?

Donations in support of a PMC rider may be made by credit card,  check, Facebook or Venmo.

To search for the rider you'd like to support online, click here

To support a rider via check, make the check payable to the Pan-Mass Challenge, PMC, Jimmy Fund and/or Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Riders who receive checks directly from donors should deposit them electronically using the PMC app on their iOS or Android smartphone.

If a donor makes out a check to a rider, the rider should endorse and sign it over to the Pan-Mass Challenge. Please be sure to include the rider’s name and/or eGift ID on the memo line of the check. Checks should be mailed to the PMC office: 77 4th Avenue, Needham, MA 02494.

Click here to learn about additional ways to give to the PMC, including through a donor advised fund, stock, IRA, etc.

What is the PMC’s tax ID number?
The PMC's federal tax ID number is 04-2746912
How can I find my current donors and donation history?

Log into your PMC account and click Total Fundraising on your Manage page. On your fundraising page, you can select the year and view the donations you received.

I need a tax receipt for my donation. How can I get one?

All donations made online will be acknowledged with an emailed tax receipt. Donations made by check for $250 or more will automatically generate a tax acknowledgment by mail.Tax receipts for donations of less than $250 may be provided upon request.

To request a request for a previous donation, please email panmass@pmc.org

How should I deposit donor fundraising checks to my PMC fundraising?

Mobile deposit via PMC app – available for iOS and Android – is the fastest way to deposit your checks.

Simple fundraising checks – those to be applied only to your fundraising – should be deposited through mobile deposit.

Checks requiring special attention (those with matching gifts forms, "in honor" or "in memory" donations requesting a tribute letter, or checks to be split among several riders, etc.) should be mailed to the PMC office for our staff to process. The office address is 77 4th Avenue, Needham, MA 02494.

I would like to ride the Pan-Mass Challenge but am concerned about the fundraising. What advice do you have?

The PMC offers a range of routes and fundraising commitments. Routes range from 25 to 192 miles and there are a variety fundraising commitments. PMC 2021 routes and minimums range from $1,000 to $6,000 – view the routes and minimums by map or by chart. Choose a route that fits your schedule, cycling ability and fundraising capacity.

Riders who register earlier in the year are generally the most successful at fundraising and training, so start fundraising early! Find fundraising tools and tips here.

What is a PMC Heavy Hitter?

Heavy Hitters are PMC riders and fundraisers who exceed their fundraising commitments and receive recognition from the PMC for their fundraising efforts. The 2021 Heavy Hitter level is $9,000. Learn more about PMC Heavy Hitters here.

Does the Pan-Mass Challenge have a mobile app?

Yes, the PMC app is available for smartphones running iOS and Android; it supports PMC fundraising management, email solicitations, check deposits and more. We encourage all riders to download it!

Will my PMC app update automatically for PMC 2021 or do I have to update it manually?

This depends on the settings of your device, but the PMC app should update on its own. It is always a good idea to check the App Store or Google Play Store to make sure that you have the most updated version.

How do I start a Facebook Fundraiser?

Facebook Fundraisers are integrated with and can be set up through your PMC Manage page. Funds raised in either place (Facebook or via PMC pages) stay in sync.Facebook has no fees, not even for credit cards.

Find a step-by-step guide to set up your Facebook Fundraiser here.

What should I do if a donor gives me cash?

If you receive cash from a donor, you can either write a personal check to the PMC or use your credit card to put the correct donation amount into your account, but use the information for the donor rather than for yourself.

Where can I find an email template to help me fundraise?

Just log into your PMC account and go to "My PMC," there you will find a link to "email templates."

Volunteer

When does volunteer registration open for the PMC?

PMC 2021 volunteer registration will open in spring 2021.

I want to volunteer for the PMC but I don’t know where. How can I find out which volunteer opportunities are available?

The PMC needs volunteers immediately before and after PMC weekend, as well as on the weekend itself. All available volunteer positions can be found here while the current year’s registration period is open.

The PMC also needs volunteers throughout the year for various events and office tasks. To learn more about these positions, click here

What is the age requirement to be a volunteer for the PMC?

You must at least 13 years old to volunteer for the PMC.

Contact Us

Do you have additional questions about the Pan-Mass Challenge? Contact PMC staff at panmass@pmc.org or 781-449-5300.

For all media requests or inquiries, please contact Ameara Harb, Cone Communication: aharb@conecomm.com or 617-939-8318.

Follow the PMC on social media for updates throughout the year! The Pan-Mass Challenge is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn