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Fight diabetes, have fun at Tour

I hate having Type 1 diabetes, but that’s not the only reason I’m excited to cover the Hampton Roads Tour de Cure this weekend.

I’m also excited to be out there early Saturday morning at the Suffolk Executive Airport for pictures. Hundreds of cyclists pedaling hard and fast, and another few hundred more runners and walkers stepping into the 5K walk and run — the entire event makes for tremendous photos.

I’m excited to interview fellow diabetics about their rides and runs with live music playing — combined with a whole chorus of activity and chatter. I was diagnosed during my freshman year of college back in 2010. I’ve had Type 1 diabetes for more than eight years, and after I graduated, I enjoyed volunteering at Tour with my brother.

It’s also going to be exciting to see this year’s turnout with the Hampton Roads American Diabetes Association crew that I got to know after I graduated. I may no longer be an active volunteer for the ADA, but I’m still immensely grateful for all of their support when I was coming to terms with my condition as a college graduate.

Tour de Cure is an exciting opportunity for all the other diabetics like me that have to manage our shared diseases daily — likely for the rest of our lives. It’s a day to get out, sweat, have fun and feel that sense of community.

This Saturday is about facing diabetes head-on, whether that’s on bike or on foot.

The event will be held at the Suffolk Executive Airport, 1200 Gene Bolton Drive. There will be 12-, 30-, 62- and 100-mile routes for cyclists, and also a 5K run and walk.

Registration will open for 100- and 65-mile riders at 6 a.m. before they leave the airport at 7:30 a.m. The 30- and 12-mile riders will register starting at 7 a.m. and depart at 8:30 a.m., while the 5K runners and walkers will start registering at 9 a.m. and head out at 10 a.m.

Breakfast will be served starting at 6 a.m. and include scrambled eggs, turkey and pork sausage, yogurt, oatmeal and biscuits. Suffolk BBQ Co. at the Airport will be serving a post-ride meal, as well as a VIP meal for Champions who raise $1,000 or more.

The 100-mile riders will enjoy a healthy meal donated by the Hertford McDonald’s, and participants ages 21 and older will be treated to a complimentary post-ride beer from Beach Ambassadors. Beer will also be for sale for those who come to cheer on participants, as well.

The afterparty will include games and live music from the Fuzz Band and Astro DJs.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to get important medical checks at the Wellness Village, with ECPI/MCI University providing free blood glucose and blood pressure screenings, Eastern Virginia Medical School providing A1C tests and certified diabetes educators with Bon Secours, Sentara and Riverside hospitals plus Bayview Physicians.

Registration for cyclists is $25, which rises to $35 on the day of the event. The fundraising minimum for cyclists is $200. Runners and walkers have a fundraising minimum of $100 and do not pay a registration fee. All participants ages 12 and under have a $50 fundraising minimum.

The fundraising goal for this upcoming Tour is $525,000. As of Wednesday evening, $327,758.70 has been raised, and 81 teams and 761 total participants are registered for the event.

For more information, visit diabetes.org/hrtdc or call 424-6662 ext. 3269. Those interested in volunteering can contact Robin Kantor via email at RKantor@diabetes.org.