In the 1000 Mile Three Hour Race, Markelle Taylor took first, and San Quentin News staffers Eddie Herena and Jonathan Chiu took second and third.
Chiu surprised many people, including himself, by taking third place ahead of Chris Scull.
“It’s all thanks to Tommy and Steve and our Sunday pacing runs,” Chiu said.
Herena and Scull battled over second and third, but Scull dropped out of the race after completing 18-1/2 miles while Herena continued on to finish 21-7/8 miles.
“It wasn’t my day; it wasn’t my race, but I’ll be there for the marathon,” Scull said. “Eddie, watch out.”
Chiu, at 5-foot-5 and 130 pounds, worked his legs like a choo-choo. He placed ahead of his training partners, Tommy Wickerd and Steve Reitz.
“We’re like a family,” said Chiu, the crossword creator for San Quentin News.
On Oct. 6, members of the running club lined up as coach Frank Ruona counted down to start time.
Taylor, built like an Adonis, dominates the club records, holding almost all of them. Before the race even began, everyone knew he would run the farthest in three hours. The only questions: Would he beat his own record, and what cause would he dedicate his win to?
Taylor completed 24-1/16 miles, missing his record of 25-11/16. He dedicated the win to the victims of the Vegas terrorist attack.
“We have a high rate of finishers,” 1000 Mile Club Sponsor Diana Fitzpatrick said. “Everyone has gotten much more methodical … It was the kind of stuff that make coaches happy.”
Larry Ford, the club secretary, was all smiles after the race. He broke the 60-and-over record of 20-1/8 set by Michael Keeyes. Ford completed 20-1/2 miles.
“He had the record, and I snatched it away,” joked the 61-year old Ford. “I feel great, like a pert young buck.”
Then Ford turned serious and said, “This club means a lot to me. It means a lot to have camaraderie with all the guys. It gives us goals to set, teaches us the ability to work with each other and gives us something to look forward to.”
This year, Keeyes completed 19-1/2. He’s 70 years old and wears very broken-in sneakers.
Joey Sixtoe, whose wife runs most mornings, ran with the 1000 Mile Club for the first time. He completed 14-1/2 miles.
“Today is the start of it,” Sixtoe said. “My motivation is to run with my wife and play with my kids when I get out.”
Zahava Hirsch, who isn’t a runner, visited the prison for the first time and assisted the runners by handing out nourishments.
“I thought it was very impressive to see you guys pushing yourselves,” Hirsch said. “I’m inspired. I might go buy a pair of running shoes.”