Sweltering heat and high humidity Saturday didn't deter more than 700 cyclists from riding to support cancer survivors at the 6th annual Connecticut Challenge.

Riders as young as 8 years old on up to an 80-year-old man hopped on their bikes for the fundraiser that started and ended at Greenfield Hill Congregational Church in Fairfield. Participants came from throughout Connecticut and beyond, even Florida, to ride one of the routes -- 12 miles, 25, 50, 75 and 100.

Yet the challenge is much more than a biking event; it's a community event, one in which people rally together to support cancer survivors. Indeed, today's Challenge got off to an emotional -- and empowering -- start with a lap by cancer survivors.

It was announced prior to the start of the race, at approximately 8 a.m., that funds raised for this year's Challenge were climbing toward $1 million.

As riders came down the home stretch they were greeted by applause and cheers of support from hundreds of people gathered on the church's green. Many stayed and enjoyed food and drinks provided by the Challenge; all supported a good cause.