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With over 5,000 riders, 3,000 volunteers, and over $32 million raised, the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge is the largest athletic fund raiser in the country. 100% of the proceeds go to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Bikers are sponsored to ride 180 miles over 2 days. When my parents told me about the PMC, I knew it sounded like a challenge for me.

I was lucky enough to ride with Team Lizard, who are a phenomenal group of people, all age ranges, and all the money raised goes towards alternative cancer care- that is so right up my alley. We had fantastic weather, amazing volunteers, food and drink galore, and thousands of people out motivating the riders all along the route. It was so incredibly inspiring to have so many people clapping, cheering, holding signs of thanks, water bottles, and the occasional sprinkler. But the absolute most amazing part of the weekend was all the survivors, most of them children, along the roads thanking the riders. I remember passing one beautiful young girl who held a sign reading ‘sweet sixteen survivor’. I started weeping. It is events like the PMC that make me realize how many amazing people there are in the world making a difference. And each and every one of us can contribute. So, get biking, running, or whatever and find events in your community where you can meet new people, get active, and be the change in the world that you wish to see.

This is me and my boyfriend Ryan at the finish of the PMC- a little tired and sweaty, but mostly just super blissed out 🙂

Written by Keenan Mclaren

Keenan McLaren is from Boston, MA where she began her ballet training at the age of 8. She trained at the Boston Ballet School for 10 years, and upon graduating from high school, secured a job as an apprentice with Ballet Austin II. After one season in Austin, Keenan then joined Dayton Ballet, where she danced for 5 seasons, performing many principal and soloist roles, as well as had many roles created on her by such choreographers as Christopher Fleming, Gregory Robinson, Steven Mills, Jeffrey Hughes, and Alan Hineline. In the fall of 2010, Keenan moved to Philadelphia to join the newly established BalletFleming, where she had the opportunity to dance many principal roles as well and set and ballet mistress many of Mr. Fleming’s works. For the upcoming season, Keenan is thrilled to be joining Nashville Ballet.
In her free time, Keenan is an avid yogi and yoga teacher, having just completed her training with Baron Baptiste. She is also a huge foodie and loves cooking and experimenting in the kitchen, especially with raw and vegan foods. Keenan also loves photography, particularly black and white film. In 2008, she won a Dance Magazine Photo contest and hopes to one day become a dance photographer.