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MIAMI (CBSMiami) –  More than a 1,000 cyclists kicked off the annual Dolphins Cycling Challenge on Saturday morning.

“This started a few years ago and it just continues to grow and the whole Dolphins’ organization really gets behind it. From the players, the coaching staff, the alumni players, all of the employees get behind it,” said Dolphins President and CEO Tom Garfinkel.

Each cyclist pedaled, 28 and 104 miles across Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, to help tackle cancer by raising money for research.

The Dolphins Cycling Challenge (DCC)  is a two-day event. Cyclists can have the option of six different routes with various distances.

Click here to view pictures of the event. 

The event officially started Saturday morning, at 6:45 a.m., with the 104 mile ride which started at Sun Life Stadium.  Former Miami Dolphins player and retired CBS4 Sports Anchor Kim Bokamper served as Grand Marshal.

“The nice thing about this ride is you don’t have to look far to find someone that’s been in the same boat as you. There’s a community there, there’s a community of people that’s been involved with cancer, or relatives, or friends – so there’s a comfort in riding with his group,” said Bokamper.

Before the ride began, a moment of silence was held for cyclist  and avid DCC supporter Walter Reyes who was hit and killed on the Rickenbacker Causeway in January.

Several other rides will follow.

For the second day, the event will have three rides of various lengths leaving from City Place in West Palm Beach, the Doctors Hospital Training Facility in Davie and Esplanade Park in Fort Lauderdale as well as a new 5K run/walk at Sun Life Stadium.

All day two participants will enter Sun Life Stadium and join the Finish Line Celebration.

The event is a collaborative effort between the Miami Dolphins and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, with 100 percent of the rider-raised funds going directly to fund research at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. CBS4 is a corporate sponsor of the event.

“We’ve raised around $4 million so far, but we raise until February 28th. It will all go to Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center – stay here in South Florida and go to our cancer research efforts,” said DCC CEO  Michael Mandich.

CBS4's team at the Dolphins Cycling Challenge on February 7, 2015. (Source: CBS4)

CBS4’s team at the Dolphins Cycling Challenge on February 7, 2015. (Source: CBS4)

CBS4’s VP/General Manager Adam Levy and Chief Meteorologist Craig Setzer participated in the ride.

Since its first ride in 2010, the DCC has raised almost $7 million.

Click here to watch Michael Cugno’s report. 

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