As Norwood-native Susan Young prepares for her second ride in the annual Pan-Massachusetts Challenge (PMC), she said she is both excited and nervous.
Young, 51, a current Walpole resident, has committed to the two-day, 163 mile ride from Wellesley to Provincetown on August 4-5, riding with team Kinetic Karma and raising money for the fight against cancer. She recently surpassed her required fundraising goal of $4,300, and said the outpouring of support has been overwhelming.
"Honestly it's the support and just the emotion," Young said. "When I fundraise it's more the notes that I get, and the comments, and the hugs and support... more than anybody writing a check."
In January of 2002, Young lost her husband, Bill, to stomach cancer at the age of 45. That same year a friend of a friend, Danny Hooper, 48, of Medway, dedicated his PMC ride in memory of Bill. Inspired and overwhelmed by the gesture, Young and her daughter Marisa, then 11 years old, volunteered at the event - a tradition they would continue for the next nine years.
Last year after catching what Young refers to as the “biking bug,” both Young and her daughter rode the one-day, 27-mile PMC route from Wellesley to Bourne. This year Marisa, now 21 and a student at Northeastern University, will be volunteering at the Provincetown location while her mom makes the ride.
When asked what her favorite part of the ride is, Young laughed and said, "The finish line."
The PMC started in 1980, and since then has contributed $338 million to cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Approximately 5,500 riders participate, choosing one of 11 routes of varying mileage.
Training and participating in group rides with her team to prepare, Young is looking forward to this, the 11th year she has been involved in PMC.
"This is going to be an emotional ride for me this year," she said.
Donations can be made to Young and her team by visiting the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge page here.