Chicago Marathon runner with broken hip thanks officers for helping him finish

Evelyn Holmes Image
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Marathon runner with broken hip thanks officers
A Chicago Marathon runner who broke his hip thanked the Chicago police officers who helped him finish.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Chicago Marathon runner who broke his hip thanked the Chicago police officers who helped him finish.

Edward Hensley says it's an experience he'll never forget, the day two police officers helped him finish his ninth straight Chicago Marathon. He later learned, he ran most of the race with a broken hip.

"At one point they both said, 'It doesn't matter how long this takes, we're going to be here and we're going to get to the finish line,'" Hensley said.

The northwest suburban husband and father says Sunday morning, he felt some minor pain in his left thigh, but not enough to keep him from running his eleventh race.

EXTRA: Hensley, Siska and Martinez discuss their unexpected journey at the Chicago Marathon

A Chicago marathon runner who broke his hip during the race and the two police officers who helped him finish discuss their experiences.

The 47-year-old said it was around mile 24, near 30th Street and Michigan Avenue, he felt something snap. That's when Hensley sat down on the ground and couldn't get back up.

"And I looked up and said, 'God please help me' and no sooner than 10 seconds did Officer Siska showed up," Hensley said.

Chicago Police Officer Joseph Siska was working the marathon detail and helped Hensley get to a nearby aid station.

"I just told him if you really want to do this we can make it happen," Siska said.

The unlikely duo limped together for about a block before another cop, Probationary Officer Alfredo Martinez, on the job for just 18 months, saw them and asked if he could help.

"He made a joke or something and said, ' I wish I had a cane.' We all looked over and we're like folding chair," Martinez said.

With the chair as his cane, it took the three men more than an hour to walk the final two miles, frequently stopping to give Hensley a break from the excruciating pain. They also talked about their families and how officer Siska was about to become a father next month and how running helped Hensley through he and his wife's struggle to start a family.

As they neared the finish line, Hensley used a borrowed phone to call his wife, who along with his 7-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son, recorded him hopping on his right leg across the finish line.

Wednesday, as he recovers in the hospital, Hensley says it's unclear if he'll be able to run marathons again, but he's grateful to the officers who are now forever friends.

"When I look back, I met two officers and I left with two friends," Henlsey said.

Hensley had surgery to stabilize his left hip and says he could be released from the hospital as soon as Thursday and will then start rehab.

Hensley was the 42,860th runner to finish the race with a time of 6 hours, 47 minutes and 44 seconds.