Business & Tech

Dancing Deer cofounder aims to set a record for biking across America

Most businesspeople in Boston know Trish Karter for Dancing Deer Baking Co., the company she cofounded and ran for more than a decade.

But Karter is embarking on a challenge that’s tougher than being a chief executive. Starting Saturday, Karter and three teammates will compete in the Race Across America, biking 3,000 miles over seven days.

Karter, who is 60, wants to establish a world record for the women’s 60-plus age group — a record doesn’t exist right now — and to chase the record for the 50-plus category. She wants to raise money for women’s health research at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, too.


Most importantly, she wants to send a message.

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“I’m doing it mostly because I feel it will make a difference,” Karter said. “I’ve spent my career trying to advance the role of women in business. But in athletics, it’s particularly bad. When women get older, they really disappear. . . . It’s another glass ceiling to break.”

Karter said she began cycling seriously relatively late in life, in 2009. (She left the chief

“I’m doing it mostly because I feel it will make a difference,” Karter said.

executive’s job at Dancing Deer in 2010.) She overcame a traumatic crash to become a top uphill rider, setting the record for the 60-64 age group last year at Mt. Washington. Lately, she’s been cycling as many as 300 miles a week, while running Chabaso Bakery in New Haven.

Longtime friend Karen Kaplan, the chief executive of ad agency Hill Holliday, connected Karter with executives at the Brigham, a Hill Holliday client. Karter’s journey seemed like a perfect match for Brigham Health, part of Partners HealthCare, and the organization became her team’s lead sponsor.


“This is quintessential Trish Karter,” Kaplan said. “It’s like, ‘Barriers, what barriers?’ ”

Jon Chesto can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @jonchesto.