Meet Ambassador Gerald Collins
Ambassador Gerald A. Collins from Dayton, Ohio. Gerald works as an endurance coach and clinical laboratory scientist while being an active runner. Gerald has been running for 11 years completing 1-50k, 3 - marathons, 9- half marathons. 9- 10k's, 25- 5k's, 10- 8k's and several other mixed distance events.
Why are you excited to be a BYB ambassador? I love unique races and themes. This race is a great way to show support for the local community and first responders. This will be the 1st time I've had to get in at the beginning of the race series.
What inspired your desire to begin walking/running? In May 2011, I lost my mother to breast cancer. She was first diagnosed in the early 90s and was in remission for over 15 years. When it reared it's ugly head, she fought as hard as she could. Her tumor markers had been decreasing from the chemotherapy. It was a total shock when she told me on Friday, April 29, 2011 that she had been transferred to Hospice care and they had stopped chemo. By Sunday, May 1, she was only able to speak in short 3-5 word sentences. She literally went from full conversations to that in 2 days. By Monday, she was pretty much catatonic. She passed at home late Monday into Tuesday. The suddenness of her death put me in a very dark place emotionally. The grief was consuming me. My wife gave me an ultimatum on May 2012 to find something to process my grief. I always knew I could walk a 5K but I wanted to run one. I choose running as a way to process my grief. I remember I spent a month training to run one mile. I finished training for my first 5K and ran it in August 2012. What was meant to be a one and done turned into a huge passion. I fell in love with the local running community and running itself. It saved me and my relationship. In the fall of 2013 I ran my first marathon. I found out what they mean when they say you feel like you can accomplish anything after you cross that finish line.
How do you inspire others to be active? Having spent many years as a mid pack and back of the pack racer, I have a perspective that some don't. I share my journey and encourage others to do what you can do. A step in the right direction to make a better choice improves your life little by little. Those little choices add up and make bigger changes.
Where’s your favorite place to train? I love training on the open roads. I'm an all weather outdoor runner. I love seeing the sunrise over the horizon or the leaves change in the fall. One of my favorite places to train is the trails neat my house.
Why should others run the BYB Marathon? It's a great race! It's your chance to be a part of something fresh and new. It's a great way to support the unsung hero's in the community as well.