Over 1600 cyclists took part in the fourth annual Emmitt Smith Gran Fondo charity cycling ride, sponsored by Toyota, on Saturday, September 14 leaving from the iconic Southfork Ranch in Parker, TX. The Gran Fondo courses were designed to accommodate the most avid of cyclists to the casual weekend rider. Cyclists could choose from five routes based on their skill level: the timed 94-mile Gran Fondo course with a winner take all purse of $10,000, presented by Shell, along with the Medio Fondo (58-mile), Piccolo Fondo (41-mile), Ride 22 (22-mile) and a 2-mile Family Fondo. Participants and their families enjoyed a post-race party complete with lunch, a beer garden and cocktails, tunes from DJ Astronaut, and a petting zoo for the kids. At the awards ceremony, sponsored by OneShare Health, Pat and Emmitt Smith presented three charities with checks: Collin County Children’s Advocacy Center, Bike Friendly South Dallas, and Mayor Betsy Price’s Fit Worth.
Pat and Emmitt Smith also presented former U.S.A. National Champion Eric Marcotte, a check for $10,000 for completing the 94-mile timed course in the fastest time of 3:57:21.44. Marcotte says he “took one out of the Emmitt Smith playbook and just ran through em’ today” attacking a select group of elite riders about 30-miles out, including Matt Stephens and Rahsaan Bahati, and never looked back. This winner take all purse is unique in the cycling industry as most events allocate the purse to the top 5 riders. Funds raised benefit Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities in their efforts to create educational experiences and enrichment opportunities for children in North Texas. For more information on the event, visit http://www.emmittsmithgranfondo.com.