In honor of the 30th anniversary Pan-Massachusetts Challenge, the PMC blog will take you on a ride through history. Today we continue 30 years in 30 weeks with a look back at the PMC in 2006. We’ll coast through the event’s history, featuring a new year each week, as we lead up to the 30th annual ride on Aug. 1 and 2.
Check out past 30 Years in 30 weeks posts here.
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30 years in 30 weeks
The Pan-Massachusetts Challenge welcomed a trio of international athletes to the 2006 ride. Also riding among the group was one of the PMC’s biggest supporters in the last decade: Dr. Edward Benz, president of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
It wasn’t a completely smooth ride for Dr. Benz. He broke his hand while training for the PMC, so his friend and colleague, Harry Holmes of Houston, agreed to ride in the PMC with him on a tandem.
Here’s what Dr. Benz had to say about his first PMC ride:
“Riding with you this year was a true pleasure and a real privilege. Of course, I shared with you the thrill of cresting those hills, the pain of two days on the bike seat, and that wonderful sense of “having done it” as we pulled into the Provincetown Inn. Even more importantly, my awe and gratitude to all of you deepened as I was immersed in the camaraderie so many of you shared with me. I was reenergized and reinspired by the faith you put in all of us here at Dana-Farber to do something about these horrible diseases that we ride to conquer.
Finally, I came away feeling an even greater sense of responsibility because all of you made it clear to me how much we at Dana-Farber mean to the community and how much we need, with every second that we work, to be the resource and the source of hope that this region needs in the war on cancer.”
Also riding in the 2006 PMC were a Tour de France winner, a Boston Marathon Champion and three time Olympic Gold medalist.
Here’s what they had to say after completing their first PMCs.
“There is such an incredible energy around PMC weekend,” said Greg LeMond, three-time winner of the Tour de France, 1986, 1989, 1990, and the first American to win the race. “Meeting the riders, so many of whom return year after year, and hearing about the friends and loved ones they ride for made the event for me. It’s a flawlessly organized weekend from the volunteer support to the amenities and entertainment to the road conditions. It’s also a great route – riding over the Bourne Bridge before sunrise and past the dunes on the cape was really memorable.”
Johann Koss, triple gold medalist speed skating champion at the ’94 Olympics, had a “fantastic experience” riding the PMC.
“The organization of this event was impeccable,” Koss said. “Thousands of volunteers on the side of the road and at the food and drink stations motivated me to forget about the pain in my legs, and to finish in style. During the two days, I made new friends who have a passion for riding, celebrating their achievements and curing cancer.”
Boston Marathon Champion (’94, ’95, ’96) Uta Pippig, who makes yearly visits to the Jimmy Fund Clinic, said it was so gratifying to ride for those children. “This, my first PMC, was a wonderful experience,” Pippig said. “The camaraderie and dedication within the peloton of cyclists – all riding to make cancer history – was incredibly invigorating. Perhaps most extraordinary though was the huge number of volunteers working to support the cyclists. It was due to their hard work that the PMC was such a wonderfully organized and inspiring experience.”
PMC 2006 Facts
$26 million raised