'8 states for Maz' ends in downtown Rochester after 50 marathons
A retired Rochester Police Officer has finished his inspirational journey of completing 50 marathons in 50 days. Hundreds joined him over the weekend as he crossed the finish line on Sunday to raise money in honor of a fellow police officer killed in the line of duty.
Hundreds of spectators gathered at the Hall of Justice in downtown Rochester while they waited for hundreds of runners to cross the finish line.
Leading the pack, retired sergeant Brett Sobieraski, who completed his 50th consecutive marathon.
Sobieraski started running in April as a benefit to support the family of his friend and colleague officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz. Mazurkiewicz was shot and killed while on a surveillance detail last summer.
Members of Mazurkiewicz's former tactical unit ran alongside Sobieraski on various legs of his journey which began in Florida.
Sobierski said the benefit also memorialized Officer Daryl Pierson, a member of the same unit who was killed in 2014.
“I wanted to do something for Daryl Pierson when he was killed, and I waited too long,” said Sobieraski. “The family was just weary of it because I always had to pull that scab off, and I said, I'm not waiting this time.”
Sobieraski credits the generosity of supporters and strangers who raised thousands of dollars for the Mazurkiewicz family.
Sobieraski originally planned to run 48 marathons across 8 states, but said that he was inspired to do more after witnessing the generosity of strangers.
“I'm telling you this beauty is indescribable. We hear all this madness going on. I saw the greatness of America. I saw people give me their last dollar as people hugged me to tell me to hug Tony's wife, Lynn.”
The ceremony was another opportunity for fellow officers to share their own sentiments about their friend who they affectionately called Tony. Mazurkiewicz’s widow, Lynn, shared her gratitude for all of the community support. And she had this request to memorialize her late husband.
“Please make sure and do my family and I a favor. Please laugh at jokes you heard of him. Think what would Tony say during any given situation. Mainly I ask that you just never forget him,” said Lynn Mazurkiewicz.