GASTONIA, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Gastonia Police are providing a traffic escort to endurance runner and former New York cop Brett Sobieraski this afternoon.

The public should expect short intersection closures along U.S. 321 throughout the city.

The 56-year-old Sobieraski runs from Florida to Rochester, N.Y., in honor of fallen Rochester Police Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz.


The retired Rochester police sergeant is raising money for the fallen officer’s family by running a marathon (26.2 miles) daily between Florida and New York. He started running from Palatka, Fla., to Rochester on April 23. 

Sobieraski expects to complete 48 marathons to honor Mazurkiewicz, a murder victim, while on duty on July 21, 2022. For most of his career and death, Mazurkiewicz was assigned to the agency’s Tactical Unit — team designator “8.” The man served 29 years with RPD and could have retired in 2013, but he chose to continue working in the “Tac Unit” because of its high-risk efforts in drug-prone neighborhoods and a focus on finding homicide suspects – precisely what he was doing when he was killed. He had one year to go before his planned retirement.

Sobieraski retired after 32 years in RPD, mainly working in narcotics and with the SWAT team. Among his endurance accomplishments:

  • Numerous 100-mile ultra-marathons
  • A double Ironman
  • Running 50 hours to raise money for Special Olympics
  • Swimming across Lake Ontario

He often raises money for charities during his races.