Doug Buchanan, Columbus Business First
More than 8,000 riders set off from Columbus and New Albany early Saturday morning to raise money for cancer research in the 9th annual Pelotonia fundraiser.
Participants were sent off in waves on a bright, crisp morning perfect for cycling from this year’s starting point in the Arena District. Their routes would take them from 25 to 180 miles, with the longest-distance riders staying overnight at Kenyon College in Gambier before returning on Sunday.
Organizers are hoping for another record amount of money raised to support research at Ohio State University’s James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, after the race generated $24 million in donations last year.
Pelotonia has raised more than $130 million since it began nine years ago.
Corporate support covers the event’s operating expenses, ensuring all pledges go toward funding research.
A wide range of Central Ohio employers fielded teams this year, with 281 pelotons registered.
Check out the slideshow for photos from the starting line.
Pelotonia weekend kicked off Friday night with a speech from former Vice President Joe Biden, who encouraged participants that research was making significant progress in finding ways to combat the disease.
You can check out photos from the opening ceremony here.