Retired RPD officer, running marathons across eight states for fallen friend, arrives in Monroe County Thursday

Former Rochester Police Officer Brett Sobieraski is running 48 marathons in honor of his fallen colleague, slain Rochester Police Officer Tony Mazurkiewicz. (Photo: Todd Hayes/WHEC)

UPDATE: A retired Rochester Police officer’s journey from Florida to Western New York in honor of a fallen friend is getting closer to an end.

Former Rochester Police Sgt. Brett Sobieraski will enter Monroe County on Thursday for his 47th consecutive marathon. On Wednesday, people in Genesee County showed up to support him.

Along the way, Sobieraski is supported by friends, family, and colleagues from Rochester. His final marathon will be on Sunday. If you would like to donate, you can do so here.

Our coverage of Sobieraski’s journey

June 8: Sobieraski arrives in Monroe County, having run through eight states.

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May 9: Sobieraski has completed 17 marathons and entered South Carolina.

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April 21: Sobieraski spoke to News10NBC two days before he started his journey in Florida.

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April 3: Sobieraski announced his goal to complete a marathon a day through 8 states.

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Later this month, a former Rochester Police officer will begin his journey to run a marathon a day – through eight states – in honor of fallen RPD Officer Tony Mazurkiewicz. 

At the time of his death, Officer Mazurkiewicz was assigned to the tactical unit designated by the number eight. Former RPD Sgt. Brett Sobieraski has done a lot of races to benefit people and organizations in our community.

“I’ve done some crazy things, I swam non-stop across Lake Ontario, I ran for 50 hours straight for Special Olympics,” he tells News10NBC. 

But his next goal eclipses all of that. “I’m going to run a marathon a day, every single day through 8 states to New York and I’m going to finish here on June 11th, so it will be 48 marathons,” he says.

It will be a total of about 1,258 miles on foot. The journey will be in honor and memory of Officer Mazurkiewicz. Nicknamed ‘Maz,’ the 29-year veteran of RPD was killed in the line of duty by a murder suspect back in July. 

“When he first came on the job, when he transferred to Rochester, he worked in the Goodman section and I was right across the street in the Clinton section,” Sobieraski explains. “Whether it was an officer he worked with or the chief of police or anywhere in between, you always knew what ‘Maz’ was thinking and that was awesome. He never put up a front, he wore his heart on his sleeve, and he was just a great cop.”

Officer Mazurkiewicz left behind his wife Lynn, four children, and three grandchildren. Sobieraski recalls talking to Lynn Mazurkiewicz about his plans.

“So here’s this, kind of this stranger to her, obviously not a stranger to Tony, who comes up with this crazy idea and here we are. So she’s very grateful,” he says. 

Sobieraski will start in Florida on April 23rd and will be running 26.2 miles every day until he finishes on June 11th at the fallen officer memorial at the Hall of Justice in Rochester. He’s planned a route that will take him on mostly back roads and says preparing mentally has been more challenging than preparing physically.

“I had to buy a motorhome for this, which I purchased over the winter, and I’m going to have a lot of the people who worked with ‘Maz’ and a lot of the people I worked with who are going to come down in ones or twos and help me along the way,” he explains. 

Whatever it takes, Sobieraski says, to benefit a family who has lost so much.

“My goal is to raise $100,000 for that family. That’s the ultimate goal,” he says.

Sobieraski has also partnered with Fleet Feet. Anyone can sign up as a virtual participant and walk/run 26 minutes and 20 seconds each day as your own symbolic marathon from April 23rd through June 11th in solidarity. There is also the opportunity to run the final 3 miles with Sobieraski as he finishes his journey. Sign up here.

In addition to donations and support, everyone is invited to be at the finish line at 1 p.m. Sunday, June 11th at the Hall of Justice courtyard, 99 Exchange Blvd.

The Mazurkiewicz family will be attending.