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      Athletes prepare for Syracuse Ironman 70.3 at Crown Plaza Hotel

      Athletes young and old registered at the Crown Plaza Hotel for tomorrow's Syracuse Ironman 70.3 this afternoon, creating a tense, but exciting atmosphere of both experienced and newcomers to the course.

      The race starts with a 1.2 mile swim around Jamesville Reservoir, finishing up at Jamesville Beach. Athletes will then mount their bikes for a 56-mile trek through Syracuse and Highland Forest parks, riding through Onondaga, Madison and Cortland counties. They will then finish up with a 13.1 mile run through the country at Onondaga County Park outside the Hamlet of Jamesville. It might seem like a lot, but for these competitors, it's something they've waited for all year.

      "I look forward to it every year," says Leo Linder, who has competed in the Syracuse race all three years of its existence. "Every year it seems to get better, it's well run, and lots of fun."

      For many, it's a personal race, where the competitor is trying to not only battle the competition, but to beat their own personal best.

      "That's what my goal is, just to be faster than I was last year," says Heidi Glovack, a Syracuse native. "That's all I can hope for."

      Instead of today being about the competition, it was about the camaraderie between the athletes, and in some cases they were sizing each other up, but most of the time, they were talking about their past exploits in the sport of endurance.

      "It's fun to see everybody," Glovack says. "Sometimes you run into some people that you know, people come from all over for this race, which is kind of neat."