Saturday, April 4, 2020

Tour de Marco Raises $4,500 for YMCA


A single rider is momentarily ahead of the pack as Tour de Marco 8 rolls down Collier Boulevard. Photos by Scott H. Shook

A single rider is momentarily ahead of the pack as Tour de Marco 8 rolls down Collier Boulevard. Photos by Scott H. Shook

Riders in Tour de Marco 8 were treated to a perfect day on Marco Island, with comfortably warm temperatures, sunshine and a pleasant breeze making the 5, 15 and 30 mile rides delightful for the 205 participants.

The ride was also a success for the Marco Family YMCA, as $4,500 was added to their scholarship fund.

“I can safely say that we raised at least $4,500,” said the Y’s Steve Reynolds, who organized the ride.

Finleigh Fitton and Olivia Watt help keep riders on the 15-mile and 30-mile rides going in the right direction.

Finleigh Fitton and Olivia Watt help keep riders on the 15-mile and 30-mile rides going in the right direction.

There was not a United Nations meeting during the Tour de Marco, but there were 13 countries represented nonetheless.

“We had riders from England, Ireland, Switzerland, Poland, Sweden, Libya, Canada, Mexico, Columbia, Ecuador, Brazil and Australia,” Reynolds was proud to share. And of course there were plenty of folks from the U.S.A. Reynolds also enjoyed the young and old of it. “The youngest participant was 20 months old,” Reynolds said. “The oldest was 88 years old.”

Members of MIA’s Key Club. Front row: Emma Snow, Vincent Piranio, Finleigh Fitton and Peter Morales. Back row: Marshall Daffner, Bek Rahmonev, Johnny Watt, Olivia Watt, Camden Jones, Sarahi Lopez and Katie Portu.

Members of MIA’s Key Club. Front row: Emma Snow, Vincent Piranio, Finleigh Fitton and Peter Morales. Back row: Marshall Daffner, Bek Rahmonev, Johnny Watt, Olivia Watt, Camden Jones, Sarahi Lopez and Katie Portu.

Regardless of age or nationality, the Tour de Marco was a rousing success. Many riders were surprised to find out just how hilly Marco Island can be for a cyclist. Riders encountered hills on Sheffield Avenue, in Key Marco and in the estates area. One rider shouted, “Who says Marco doesn’t have any hills?” as he climbed Indian Hill Road, the highest elevation in Southwest Florida.

Atop one of Marco’s hills are Bridget Seegers, Steve Quayle, Kathy McCarthy, Gui Rego, Azul Gutierrez and Tim Seegers.

Atop one of Marco’s hills are Bridget Seegers, Steve Quayle, Kathy McCarthy, Gui Rego, Azul Gutierrez and Tim Seegers.

The Tour ended up where it started, at the Y’s airnasium, where many of the riders walked away with gifts donated by a host of island businesses.

Reynolds, ever the promoter, wants everyone to know that Tour de Marco 9 is already planned for February 24, 2019.

Riders in the Tour de Marco have the lane to themselves on Collier Boulevard.

Riders in the Tour de Marco have the lane to themselves on Collier Boulevard.

YMCA swim coach Kamal Farhat and Tom Boyce prior to the start of Tour de Marco 8.

YMCA swim coach Kamal Farhat and Tom Boyce prior to the start of Tour de Marco 8.

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