El Tour de Tucson 2021 kicks off after year-long hiatus


TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) -After a year-long hiatus, El Tour from Tucson is back. The expo and the weekend kicked off Thursday, while the grand walk takes place this Saturday.

Although the vibe and atmosphere are the same, there are a few changes, such as the course. This year, the runners will head south and cross Sahuarita and the Pecans.

“You know, mix it up a bit. We filmed it before the ride was postponed with the pandemic, so again, it’s just something a little different, ”said TJ Juskiewiscz, executive director of El Tour of Tucson.

Some runners were thrilled with the change and to see more of the beauty of southern Arizona.

“You know, I’m excited about the new course,” said Rick Leeman, who is competing in the race. “It’s good that we weren’t going north and west… it’s just a nice change of scenery this year. “

Organizers said about 6,500 people have signed up to ride this year, of which about 800 are children. In 2019, there were just over 5,000 runners, so definitely a slight increase.

“It’s good. It seems like things are returning to some kind of normalcy. It’s also nice to see that there are so many people who seem to be riding the loop here,” Chris Steele said at the handlebars of the 102 this year.

For some, it’s more than just an exercise or a walk. It is a bonding experience. Jason Schlottman and Pam North, a mother-son team who ride this year, were excited to hang out together and ride before Schlottman graduated from the University of Arizona.

“My son is getting ready to graduate from U of A, so this might be his last year in Tucson, who knows, so this might be my last chance to get from quality time with him for a while, ”said North.

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