Twenty-eight 1000 Mile Running Club runners started the Ninth Annual San Quentin Half Marathon under blue skies on a beautiful August 10 day, while community volunteers kept track of every lap. Twenty-one men completed the full 52-1/2 laps around the prison yard.
Markelle “The Gazelle” Taylor, who holds most of the club’s records, predictably came in first with a time of 1 hour, 22 minutes, 44 seconds. He runs every race with a cause in mind.
“I dedicate this race to all immigrants and children separated from their families,” Taylor said.
Without the club’s second-best runner, Eddie Herena, in the race, Chris Scull took second challenged only by Steve Reitz, who came in third. Their respective times were 1:33:06 and 1:38:30.
“Usually I’m fourth or fifth; it feels nice to get on the podium,” Reitz joked. “I thank the volunteers, like Tim Fitzpatrick. Counting laps isn’t the most interesting thing to do.”
Club coaches Frank Ruona, Diana Fitzpatrick and Kevin Rumon, along with community volunteers Tim Fitzpatrick and Jim Morris, counted the laps with help from club members who couldn’t run but still wanted to help out. Each person kept track of about four runners.
“Police departments in 13 of the 25 largest U.S. cities did not post their (operating and use-of-force) procedures online.” “The Opaque Blue Line” by C.J. Ciaramella in Reason magazine May 2017
“Counting laps is challenging,” Morris said. “I like doing this because it’s something good; it’s giving something back with the knowledge that with this much difference, I’d be the one in here hoping somebody helped me out.”
The 69-year-old worked as a biologist in the wetlands supervising lab testing before retiring.
“Counting laps is very tough; my hand is starting to cramp,” D. Fitzpatrick said. “I do this because of my commitment to the men.”
New club member Mark Jarosik, 52, expressed his appreciation for the 1000 Mile Running Club.
“It means a lot to be able to run with other guys trying to better themselves, and we really appreciated all the coaches coming out,” Jarosik said.
He came in fifth with a time of 1:40:40 right behind Steve Brooks, who took fourth.
Two of the club elders put on a great race. Larry Ford, 62, came in 10th with a time of 1:53:03.
“I’ve run more half-marathons than anybody in the club,” Ford noted.
Michael Keeyes, the oldest member of the running club at 71, came in 14th, with a time of 2:00:24, short of his 70-plus age group record of 1:47:01. As the only member of the club over 70, no one can challenge his record yet.
“I want to set the bar high, so when Larry turns 70, he has something to shoot for,” Keeyes said. “I want him to earn it.”
Daniel McCoy, 56, another new member, completed his first half-marathon.
McCoy has a pacemaker, but it doesn’t bother him in the least.
“Running helps me mentally and psychologically and it keeps me mellow in this environment,” McCoy said. “Running in my first half-marathon at San Quentin is inspirational. Talk about turning a bad into a good. I’m in prison, which is bad, but I’m accomplishing something good—better health and I appreciated the camaraderie.”
The other half-marathon finishers were: (6) David Barnes, (7) Bruce Wells, (8) Jonathan Chiu, (9) John Levin, (11) Troy Dunmore, (12) Tommy Wickerd, (13) Glen Mason, (16) Al Yaseng, (17) Lee Goins, (18) Kerry Rudd, (19) Darren Settlemyer, (20) Mona Vue and (21) Edward Mone.
PPI’s “Correctional Control: Incarceration and Supervision by State” is the first report to aggregate data on all types of correctional control nationwide.
–By Rahsaan Thomas