Rob Sisk, President and CEO, competes at world’s oldest marathon to give back to community

Rob Sisk, President and CEO, competes at world’s oldest marathon to give back to community
04 February 2014

While President and CEO – MTU Detroit Diesel Australia – Rob Sisk thoroughly enjoys his time living and working in the vibrant city of Melbourne, he has had close family ties to the Boston area that date back to 1640. This April Rob will make a special trip back to Boston, USA, to take part in an event that is very close to his heart – the 2014 Boston Marathon, held on 21 April.

Rob will run the legendary 42.2 km race together with his daughter, Adélaïde Ness, to raise vital funds for their sponsored charity, YMCA of Middle Tennessee.

The father-daughter team are competing to raise $10,000 for this important nonprofit, after events of last year’s tragic Boston Marathon bombing struck close to home.

In April 2013, Rob’s son and Boston local, Dr Geoffroy Sisk, was near the marathon finish line when the fateful bombs went off, killing three people and injuring 264 others – many of whom, including children, lost limbs and suffered other life-altering wounds.

Geof, together with a fellow surgeon, helped triage many of those spectators and competitors maimed at the scene, and later treated the more seriously injured at hospitals around the area.

“While we’d watched the horrific scenes unfold in the media from afar, Geof’s first-hand account of the tragedy was still deeply troubling to Adélaïde and me – and we were left thinking about the senseless suffering in Boston in the days and weeks after the event,” Rob explains.

“Together we resolved to find a way to run the 2014 Boston Marathon to make a small, symbolic statement against such random acts of terror,” Rob adds.

And so, Rob launched his quest to Boston at last year’s Run Melbourne event, running 10 km for the first time, “just to see if he could do it.”

Since then Rob has pursued his training in earnest by competing in several 21.1 km half-marathons, and in parallel, Adélaïde, is also training for the big day, in Tennessee, where she resides.

According to Rob, it’s due to their “great good fortune” that they were able to secure a place at the Marathon, as due to the huge outpouring of support  following last year’s tragedy, thousands of people have applied for a very limited number of charity runner openings.     It seems as though it was a case of ‘the stars aligning’ for Rob, Adélaïde and their charity. “It was Adélaïde who discovered that Restore Ministries of the YMCA of Middle Tennessee had access to two charity runner spots, and after meeting with the people of Restore to share our story and connection to Boston, they agreed to sponsor us,” Rob said.

With their applications to the Boston Athletic Association recently accepted, the pair have intensified their training since Christmas, and they are logging 50–60 km per week as they build towards the event on 21 April 2014 – just days before Rob’s 60th birthday.

If you’ve been touched by Rob’s story and effort and would like to contribute to this worthwhile cause, simply follow this link to make a donation by using your credit card.

Restore Ministries is dedicated to meeting community needs in the Tennessee and Kentucky area and serves more than 368,000 people – providing counselling and small group therapies to those going through difficult times.

The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon, and ranks as one of the world’s best-known road racing events. This year’s event, as always, coincides with America’s Patriots’ Day celebration.