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Runner's high

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

— When Collins isn’t in Syracuse, he splits time in Phoenix, Ariz., where he specializes in event consultation and support. His business actually started at the grassroots level when it came to training runners. When he made the move from Upstate to the west coast, he took notice of the beautiful weather and got back into the “running spirit.”  Phoenix, at the time, was booming, a population of half a million inhibited one of the biggest cities in the country. There was one problem Collins said, not a marathon competition in sight.

“The first two years I was in Phoenix,” Collins said, “there was no marathon. I started to gather resources, had some partners in the business and said, ‘We need to start something here in Phoenix.’ That’s how I got in the business.”

The Empire State Marathon is also teaming up with two local charities, The Ronald McDonald House and Team Red, White and Blue.

The Ronald McDonald House Charities of CNY has been named the official charity of the Empire State Marathon. The Ronald McDonald House is a “home away from home” for families whose children are hospitalized with serious illness or injuries.

“We have between 50-60 people that will be acting as fundraisers,” Development Director Jennifer Saraceni Leitgeb said, “What we are really trying to do, since we are the charity of the event, is we really want to have a presence. Each of the runners raising money for us will have a special shirt to wear as they pass through as a Ronald McDonald team member. All the money raised is all designated to the new Ronald McDonald House we are building.”

To date, the generosity of so many donors throughout the surrounding counties that the Ronald McDonald House serves has helped them raise $5.3 million. Their goal of $6 million is in its sights and people looking to donate or participate in the Empire State Marathon,

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