And Away We Go! PMC Day 1 2012

Saturday, August 4th, 2012 3:30AM — My alarm rang and it was time for me to head to Sturbridge for my first Pan-Mass Challenge. My hotel was 1/2 hour away from the start, and since I had no experience with the logistics I needed to leave plenty of time. I arrived at the start just before 5, turned in my bag for transport to Bourne, ate a quick bite, and was rolling out of the start shortly after 5:30 AM.

I had wondered about the start of the ride since the first 6 miles of riding is along a busy road. It was easy — the road was closed for the time — so on this normally busy route 20 the 2300+ Sturbridge starters had all three lanes to ourselves. The start is an undulating series of uphills and downhills, leading to the longest of the “climbs” along the route — a steady climb slightly over 1 mile long. The downhill from there is where I hit my maximum speed of 36.1 mph!

The ride goes right past our Mendon home at about mile 30, just after the last of the bigger climbs on the route.  Naturally I had to stop!  It was a welcome  loaded with support of friends, neighbors and family.

I would be remiss to not mention those gathered along the route to cheer riders on — from bands, a bugler, bagpipes and just ordinary people supporting riders doing what they love to do while raising millions of dollars for the Jimmy Fund and Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

During the afternoon, as the heat and humidity got worse, there were those standing at the side of the road with their garden hoses who would sprinkle the hot riders going by if they so desired!  What a blessing!  As well as those along the route who made sure that if anybody needed some cold water they were there with cold bottles of water in their coolers.   The signs along the way were motivational — reminding us of why we were riding — pictures of loved ones, memories of lost friends and families, as well as thanks for their own cancer survivals.  It was a very moving experience.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.