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Colin Mickow of Oswego, a sixth place finisher in the Chicago Marathon. (WSPYnews.com photo by Mark Harrington). 

He never started out to be a marathon runner.

Competing in only his fourth marathon, he had a simple strategy for 26 miles.

But when anyone steps to the starting line now for a simple local 10k, the name of Oswego's Colin Mickow will be whispered respectively and in awe.

He has raced with the elite. 

After running 26.2 miles, Mickow placed sixth in one of the nation’s tops, the Chicago Marathon a few weeks ago. His time: two hours and 13 minutes. That made him the second fastest USA runner in the contest. Fifty USA states and 100 countries were represented. He was just over seven minutes from the winner, Seifa Tura of Ethiopia. 

During the race, his mile pace clocked at  5:00 minutes to five minutes-fourteen seconds, relying on a watch. Looking back, Mickow talked about the race.

At the last Olympic Trials, he took 15th, qualifying for the trials after his first ever marathon experience. So why, the marathon?

Many may have never heard of the 31-year old in Oswego. He grew up in Princeton, Illinois, a high school all-stater, then running for The University of Illinois. Up next, maybe the Boston or New York Marathons. 

Yet when driving Route 25, you may see Colin Mickow running on the Fox River Trail, all the way to Batavia and back, some 28 miles, all in a day’s work. In his ear buds, he’s listening to Led Zeppelin’s “When the Levee Breaks.”

You can listen to Mark Harrington's radio story by clicking below: