The 1000 Mile running club held a 10-mile race during the holy month of Ramadan. Several Muslims competed, including Bruce Wells, who managed to finish, although far behind Markelle Taylor, who took first place.
“All glory to Allah, I was able to finish,” Wells said. “I feel more mentally prepared because it was Ramadan.”
During Ramadan, Muslims do not eat or drink water from sunup until sundown.
The race started at 9 a.m. May 25. Muslim runners Wells, 54, LaCedrick Johnson, 52, Jerry Gearin, 51, and Eric Moody, 48, couldn’t have a sip of water till about 8:26 p.m., yet performed well in the race.
Moody completed seven miles, Gearin 8.75 miles, while Wells and Johnson ran the whole 10.
“I feel wonderful,” Wells said after the race with a huge smile on his face. “I’m not exhausted.”
He beat his 2016 time of 1:32:53 by completing the 40 laps in 1 hour, 24 minutes and 44 seconds.
Johnson came in 14th with a time of 1:31:22.
The cool weather under overcast skies helped.
“Good conditions, nice and cool but too many alarms,” sponsor Frank Ruona said. “We had to deal with four alarms for a total of seven minutes of down time.”
The alarms required all incarcerated people on the yard to sit on the ground until disturbances elsewhere in the prison were cleared.
Taylor took first with a time of 59:26 despite having to regain his momentum after each alarm.
“I wanted to break my record,” Taylor said. “Those alarms killed me. I had to run stiff every time I got up.”
He missed his 2016 record by two seconds but came in several minutes before the next runner.
He dedicated the win to people with physical and mental disabilities.
“Never give up in life,” Taylor said.
Chris Scull took second with a time of 1:07:45 without his training partner and nemesis Eddie Herena in the race. The 5-foot-2 Herena was assisting the teaching of a Prison University Project biology class.
In third place came Vincent Gomez with a time of 1:08:06.
Steve Brooks edged out Steve Reitz for fourth place with respective times of 1:13:36 and 1:13:47.
The older men in the club showed the benefits of running.
The 62-year-old Larry Ford broke the 60-and-over record with a time of 1:19:21 and an eighth-place spot overall.
Mike Keeyes, 72, broke the 70-and-over record with a time of 1:34:07 and a 15th overall place.
Alvin Timbol stopped short after six miles with a time of 55:56. However, the distance was an improvement.
“This is the longest I’ve run for the club,” Timbol said.