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Friday, September 18, 2015

Real Heroes

UPDATING!!!! In honor of Sid preparing to run his 200th Full Marathon tomorrow, I'm reposting this because he's awesome....

Remember a few months back when I posted about how Hollywood is making stupid people famous for doing absolutely NOTHING? The post, Real Stars vs. Fake Stars was written about my friend Holly. Lots of you had lots of really nice things to say. I like writing posts like that, where attention is brought to someone who does good things for others, as opposed to doing nothing worthwhile for anyone but themselves.

Today I'm writing about a guy who is amazing, who does amazing things and seeks nothing in return. No glory, no press, no accolades. He does what he does simply because he wants to.

His name is Sid Busch. Sid is a runner, a marathoner, and to me, a hell of a guy. See, Sid doesn't just run half marathons and full marathons because he likes the bling. Now, I'll admit, the bling is cool. But Sid doesn't keep the bling for himself. Crazy, right? No, here's what Sid does. He runs in memory of a soldier or sailor who has been killed in action. He usually carries with him a picture of the person for whom he's running. And he carries an American flag for the entire race. When he crosses the finish line, he receives the medal for the race. But he doesn't keep the medal, instead he presents the medal to the fallen soldier or sailor's family. They sometimes travel to Arlington and place the medal on the soldier's headstone. This is one of the most selfless, compassionate things I've ever heard of.

Sid has run 199 FULL marathons. That's 5214 miles. Let that sit in your brain for a few minutes. That's the equivalent of running in a straight line from Atlantic City to San Francisco and back again. Mind = blown.

Photo courtesy: Robin Schmitt
I've run several half marathons with Sid, like the Marine Corps Historic Half and the Frederick Nut Job. And each time I run, I look forward to seeing Sid and giving him a high five or a fist bump. I've become Facebook friends with Sid and visit his Where's Sid? Facebook page each week to see what his next race will be. I sent him a message last week asking if he'd mind if I wrote about him on the old Snarkfest blog and he graciously agreed.

I asked. Sid answered.

Me: Where were you born?

Sid:  I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY.

Me: You were in the Navy right?

Sid: I served in the Navy for 26 years. I was a Senior Chief Sonar Tech on subs.

Me: What kind of work do you do now? How do they feel about what you do? Are they flexible with your race schedule?

Sid: I work nights 4 days a week. I drive a truck for the Post and Courier and deliver the newspapers to the carriers so they can sort and deliver them. It's flexible so I can attend my races.


Me: Do you just run races in the eastern part of the country? How far have you traveled for races?


Sid: I drive now to races, saves money, and I can pack more than with flying. I have run all over the world. Furthest was ROTA RUA NEW ZEALAND


Photo courtesy: Keri Jacobs
Me: Do you have a favorite race to run?

Sid: I have a list of 5 favorites (including ties)

          Air Force and Marine Corps Marathons
          New York Marathon
          Baltimore Marathon
          Little Rock Marathon
          Disney World Marathon


Me: Do you remember your first marathon? Do you still have your first medal?


Sid: My first marathon was at the Hunter Army Air Field in Savannah, GA. It was 2 loops of the base. The medal was lost when I transferred.

         (editors note: I would LOVE to find out if it's possible to find the medal for this race!!!)

Me:  What's the reason that you do what you do?

Sid: WOW, this is a hard question. I do what I do because I have to do something more than pay lip service to those young men who have given the ultimate sacrifice to let me live in a free country. I want their families to know that their loss has not gone unnoticed.  I also do this to ease my guilt that I got too old to serve.


Photo courtesy: Sid's Facebook page
Me: What are the reactions you get from the families of those for whom you run?


Sid: The response is amazing. I have been adopted by these families, and have been treated like a member of the family.


I want to say 'Thank you' to Sid for taking the time to answer my questions, for allowing me to introduce him to you all and for doing what he does for those who can no longer run. Sid's not looking for attention, or praise. He's just a good guy doing his thing his way. And I'm proud to know him.

Photo courtesy: Sid's Facebook page



Thanks Sid, and for crying out loud, stay hydrated!






12 comments:

  1. I am a pretty "tough" guy, but the moment I finished reading this story about Sid, a bunch of damned dust got in my eyes and made 'em water like hell.

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    1. I am a FEARless Leader, not a TEARless Leader.

      I love my country and I have the utmost respect for those who serve/served Her.

      Guys like Sid are The Greatest of The Great.

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  2. Wow. What an inspiration!! Thank you for sharing, and thank you Sid for ALL of your service, both in the Navy and today. It's beautiful and what's right about this country.

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  3. Terri - In addition to running the half or full marathons he also volunteers at many of the Health and Fitness Expos for these race events. He can usually be found happily helping you get your bib or finisher shirt. I feel honored to call this hero my friend!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Linda. At this past MC Historic Half I arrived at the expo about 5 minutes too late, Sid had been helping out and had left just before I got there, so I didn't get a chance to meet him there. I did make a point to run over and chat with him during the race and am so glad that I did.

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  4. Your "stay hydrated" comment made me laugh. Poor guy is NEVER going to live that one down. Thanks for writing about Sid. I became acquainted with him through the Air Force Marathon FB page and finally got to meet him in person for the first time this fall. He also collects donations for the Wounded Warrior Project when he attends marathon expos. He does NONE of this for his own glory -- the guy is a class act, all the way.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Minday, I look forward to chatting with Sid in person when we're NOT running.

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  5. This man is an amazing inspiration. The lazy selfish youth of today should take some lessons from him. I applaud his dedication and selfless love for these men and woman that have died serving our country, and also thank him for his service.

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  6. What an INCREDIBLE man and an inspiration to everyone. Can't believe he does some of this because he feels bad about being too old to serve, and yet here he is doing so much for the families of the fallen soldiers. Truly an amazing man, Teri. Thank you for telling us about Sid!

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  7. What an amazing man. Thank you for sharing his story. Way to go, Sid!!!!

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  8. This man is amazing, and an inspiration. I salute him!

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