BOSTON (CBS) – The 35th annual Pan Mass Challenge wrapped its first day on Saturday despite the clouds and showers.

The 190-mile bike-a-thon takes place in several stages and ends in Provincetown.

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In all, close to 6,000 riders will take part across the state.

This is the most successful athletic fundraising event in the country.

Organizers hope to raise $40 million this year for cancer research and care at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund.

Since 1980, the PMC has raised close to half a billion dollars.

Some riders are inspired to ride for cancer patients known as “pedal partners.”

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“A group can really make a difference. You’re not in it alone. You’ve got friends, family, everybody to help you,” said 16-year-old cancer survivor Haley Giguere, a pedal partner.

The pedal partners have already raised around $360,000 out of their $500,000 goal.

WBZ-TV’s Paul Burton reports.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Mark Katic reports

WBZ-TV is the official media partner of the PMC

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