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Runner's high

Empire State Marathon set to take off in October; Cicero native puts Syracuse on the running map

— Baffled.

That’s what Brian Collins felt when he would travel back home to Syracuse in regards to a marathon and half marathon destination point for running die-hards in Central New York.

“The year 2010,” Collins said, “was the best year ever in terms of growth for marathons and half marathons in the last 30 years. This place is exceptional in terms of per capita, the amount of people that like to run.”

Collins, a Cicero native and a runner himself, decided to put his four-year plan into action and thus, creating the Empire State Marathon slated for Oct. 16. The event will host approximately 2,000 people from 29 different states.

“I started to do an analysis on what is the sweet spot in terms of foliage and it happened to be mid-October,” Collins said. “It also happened to be the most popular time nationwide and internationally to run a marathon.”

We have everything going for us, Collins said, it would sell well; I picked a name that would spark people’s attention, the course could be beautiful and we could pull from the best resources of the local market here including clubs and businesses.

Running has long been a part of Collins’ lifeline, participating in 27 marathons, three Iron Mans and qualifying for the Boston Marathon three times. However, it’s his brother that has him left in a cloud of dust.

“It’s not even close to fair that my brother is so fast because I run in three-times more events than him,” Collins said.  “He still kicks my butt. I hate it. I just don’t run as fast as him.”

The two siblings growing up took different paths when it came to the sport, his brother devoted every minute to becoming an elite runner while Collins wanted to experience everything and anything that presented itself in life.

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