EUGENE, Ore. – There are a few reasons why it might have seemed unlikely just a few years ago that an Oswego runner would find himself on the world marathon stage this weekend.

For one, the former University of Illinois runner had given up competitive running for a while after college, choosing to pick it back up in the last few years. When it came to qualifying for the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, it was a late push in the Chicago Marathon along with a finish in another race that clinched him a spot on the United States team.

It’s been an interesting journey for Oswego’s Colin Mickow that now has him at the top of the marathoning world this weekend.

“The goals are just to compete well, finish well, and be proud of what I did,” said the marathoner of his goals in Eugene.

This probably wasn’t on Mickow’s mind when he focused on his career in finance after his graduation in Champaign in 2012. But running a few local road races six years later got him interested in trying to make a go at competitive racing, taking part in his first marathon in 2019 in Chicago.

A rigorous training regimen that includes 140-150 miles a week put him in a position in 2021 to make the World Athletics Championships. As it turns out, finishing sixth with a late push at the Chicago Marathon gave him a shot to get in the event.

All he had to do was have no more than one American finish higher than him in the New York City Marathon. Elkanah Kibet got fourth, but since Ben True got seventh and Nathan Martin got eighth, Mickow was into the World Championships.

WGN News Now caught up with the marathoner in Eugene to hear about his unique journey in running along with his keys to developing himself into an elite runner.

You can watch his discussion with Larry Hawley in the video above.