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Chainbreaker ride to fund cancer research at Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota

A Chainbreaker-style ride at Ohio State University has raised millions for cancer research over the past decade. Organizers now hope to start a new tradition in the Twin Cities.
Help us chase down cancer. Register for the inaugural Chainbreaker fundraising ride on Aug. 11-13. All proceeds from the event will support cancer research at Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota.

In August, hundreds of University of Minnesota Physicians and Fairview Health Services employees will join community members for a weekend of cycling and entertainment to support groundbreaking cancer research.

The Chainbreaker ride kicks off Friday, August 11 at the Blue Cross Blue Shield campus in Eagan, Minnesota and continues through Sunday, August 13. Individuals or teams can bike between 25 and 180 miles and must commit to raising at least $1,000 per rider in fundraising for cancer research.

All of the funds raised by riders during this inaugural event in Minnesota will support cancer research at Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota. Founded in 1991, Masonic Cancer Center is one of only 47 institutions in the country designated a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute.

Learn more about Chainbreaker, or register to ride.

The Chainbreaker ride in Minnesota was inspired by Pelotonia, a similar cycling and fundraising event that started in Columbus, Ohio, and benefits Ohio State University. Pelotonia has raised approximately $160 million in the Columbus area since its inception nine years ago, said Tom Lennox, founder of Pelotonia and president of Chainbreaker.

“The idea behind this is we have to do more to fund cancer research. It’s as simple as that,” Lennox said. “A lot funding for research currently comes from the federal government, but it’s not enough.”

The weekend begins on Friday, Aug. 11 with a celebratory gathering for riders at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota in Eagan. The next morning—Saturday, Aug. 12—all Chainbreaker riders will begin at “first light.” The 25-, 50-, and 100-mile riders will complete their routes later that day. Riders completing the 180-mile route will stay overnight at St. Olaf College in Northfield and continue the second portion of their ride on Sunday.

Riders are encouraged to register for a route they are comfortable riding. The distance participants choose to ride also determines how much they must fundraise. Below are the fundraising requirements:

  • 25 Miles, 1-day ride —$1,000
  • 50 Miles, 1-day ride —$1,250
  • 100 Miles, 1-day ride —$1,500
  • 180 Miles, 2-day ride — $2,000

Participants can ride individually or they can group together and create a peloton, or team, of riders. Pelotons are a great way for a group of five or more individuals to share their experience and raise funds together. Peloton members can share donations made to the peloton team and can also share funds raised by individual members who have already met their goal.

Chainbreaker organizers have put together tips to help riders reach and even exceed their fundraising goals.

Check out Chainbreaker’s fundraising tips.

Interested in donating, but unable to participate in the ride? Donations can be made by credit card at All donations are 100 percent tax deductible in the United States.

“This is a cycling event, but our main goal is really to try and end cancer,” said Jen Waldron, the director of Chainbreaker.

Interested in Volunteering for CHainbreaker? Find out how you can contribute.