BALLSTON SPA – Cyclists, walkers, and runners from across the Capital Region gathered at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds June 10 for the American Diabetes Association’s annual Tour de Cure.
Held for the first time at the county fairgrounds, the event attracted more than 300 volunteers, 1,200 participants and raised more than $550,000 for diabetes research, according to ADA Development Director Laura Greenaway, who helped organize the annual charity fundraiser, now in its 27th year.
“It went really, really well,” said Greenaway of this year’s Tour before praising the Ballston Spa community and staff at the county fairgrounds. “The venue really facilitated the event really well with all the pavilions and existing buildings. We were really able to bring our festival feel right into the fairgrounds.”
The fundraising event is the No. 2 Tour de Cure in the country and the No. 1 charity event in the Capital District, according the event’s Facebook page.
The all-day event featured five cycling routes of varying distances, including: 100 miles, 62 miles, 50 miles, 30 miles and 10 miles. In addition, this year’s event featured a 5K walk/run for the first time which attracted more than 100 participants.
Those in attendance were treated to lunch from Mazzone Hospitality, a beer garden by New Belgium Brewing and live entertainment by Body & Soul.
Prior to taking place at the county fairgrounds, the Tour de Cure was held at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. The event was forced to change locations this year due to ongoing construction and a conflicting Live Nation concert schedule at the venue. The American Diabetes Association signed a three-year contract with the county fairgrounds in November.
Community members who attended the event praised the Tour’s organization, including village Mayor John Romano, who said he’d like to see the county fairgrounds become the permanent home for the event during the June 11 village trustee meeting.
“They have a contract for the next two years with the fair. I would like to see them make it their permanent home,” said Romano before saying he intends to write a letter to the event’s organizers urging them to keep the event at the fairgrounds.
Greenaway said the ADA signed a three-year contract with the fairgrounds on a trial basis, but can see the possibility of extending the contract.
“It really went very well. The routes were great going out of the fairgrounds,” said Greenaway. “I can definitely see extending it and making it a permanent residence.”
Nearly one in 11 individuals currently live with diabetes, with someone new being diagnosed every 21 seconds, according to the ADA.
The Capital Region Tour de Cure will extend fundraising efforts an additional four weeks after the event on the organization’s website with the hopes of raising $825,000, according to Greenaway. Fundraising efforts to meet the goal will continue through December.
Additional photos of the 2018 Tour de Cure are available to view here.