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Area cyclists go the distance; Pan-Mass. Challenge, Aug. 2 and 3.

Byline: Susan Nest

Edmund Powers is a third-timer, Bradford McRae is a two-timer and Richard Mollin is participating in his ninth Pan-Mass. Challenge (PMC), an annual bike-a-thon that helps raise money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through its Jimmy Fund.

Beginning on Aug. 2, Powers of Westboro and Mollin and McRae, both of Northboro, will be among the more than 5,500 cyclists who will choose from seven routes that range from 47 miles to 190 miles and take from one to two days to complete.

On Aug. 2 and 3, Powers will travel 180 miles by bike from Sturbridge to Bourne to Wellesley. Mollin and McCrae will travel a 190-mile route that will take them from Sturbridge to Bourne to Provincetown instead of Wellesley.

"I have been riding the last couple of years in recognition of my nephew, who went through five years of treatment and now is cancer free," said McCrae, 42.

Since the snow melted, Mollin, 65, has been riding 15 to 75 miles, three times a week with his training buddy, Paul Morin, 63, of Northboro, who is also participating in the Pan-Mass. Challenge.

"Our goal is 1,000 miles before the ride," said Mollin, who noted they have already logged 700 miles.

Powers, 40, said as he has gotten older, more and more of his family members and friends have been diagnosed with cancer. He said his father is a cancer survivor and two of his uncles and his paternal grandfather have died from the disease.

"We've had some cancer scares we're lucky we've gotten past," Powers said. "My cousin was recently diagnosed (with cancer). It's something that permeates everyone's life."

Mollin rides with the Friends for Life team, which was started by Denyse and Mike Dodd after their daughter, Isabelle, was successfully treated for neuroblastoma, a cancer of the nervous tissue.

"I ride because I have a higher purpose of making this world a better place for children," Mollin said.

To-date, Powers has raised a little less than $10,000 in three years for Dana-Farber and Mollin said he has raised $37,700 during his nine-year participation.

Cyclists are required to raise between $1,300 and $4,000 to ride in the PMC, depending on the chosen route, according to event organizers.

"I want to give back," said Powers, who added that given his family health history, there is a good chance he might have cancer one day.

"I hope my kids (Taylor 10, and Jack, 6) don't have to deal with this," Powers said.

In addition to Powers, Mollin, McCrae and Morin, other local residents participating in the PMC include:

Gregory Dwyer, Colleen Giansiracusa, Jonathan Bush, Andrew Cohen, Michael Giansiracusa, Ronald Gordon, Wayne Johnson, Michael Leach, Jovie Piche, Domenic Russo, Frank Simonetti, Karen Taylor and Scott Tetreault, all of Northboro. Also, Richard Anderson, Barry Cole, Peter Hurwitz, John Kruse, Leo Melanson, David Reynolds, Rick Strom, Kent Anderson, Chery Ball, Daniel Ball, James Basque, Paul Berardi, Christopher Bersani, Silvia Corvera, W. Brian Cunningham, Nancy Dragoon, Scott Hero, Judi Hurwitz, Bruce Jones, Steven Liedell, Amy MacDougall, Thomas McCarthy, Rick Moffat, Andrew Moore, Katherine Nagengast, Kris Nagengast, Marc Richards, Larry Rosenthal, George Spencer, Jim Sullivan and Kenneth Vancini, all of Westboro.

For more information about the PMC, or to make a donation to a rider, visit Riders can accept donations until Oct. 1.



CUTLINE: Edmund Powers of Westboro (shown here in 2007) is ready to travel 180 miles to help raise money for cancer research.
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Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Jul 17, 2008
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