By Marcus Henderson
Journalism Guild Writer
At the Sixth Annual 1000 Mile Club Marathon, Markelle Taylor shattered the old record by 10 minutes with a time of 3:16.07. He also broke the Two-Hour Run record last year.
“I dedicated this run to Coach Kevin Rumon, who is battling throat cancer. I also want to show honor and respect to the people I hurt in my case. I owe it to everybody to find ways to show repentance,” said Taylor.
Glen Mason took second with 3:45.03 and 68-year-old Michael Keeyes place third at 3:59.15 in the Nov. 14 contest.
“Kevin has been nothing but inspiration. Part of the run, I was thinking of him,” Mason said.
Mason broke his own personal record. Although he runs a marathon every Sunday, he said it was still work.
GQ magazine was on the scene to cover the marathon.
“The seed got planted when I met some guys who paroled from here at an Anti-Recidivism Conference. They said they ran a marathon here, and I wondered, “How can you run a marathon in prison?’ I pitched the story to my editors, and I flew in from Los Angeles. I think this story is timely, because a lot of these guys will be getting out and it’s in everybody’s interest to support these rehabilitative programs,” said GQ writer Jesse Katz.
While most of the 25 runners do not complete the 26 miles, first-time runner Steve Harris placed seventh with the refuse-to-give-up time of 5:26.29.
“By the 22nd mile, I had my doubts. I thought, ‘This might be it.’ But my competitive nature kicked in. I understood that I was competing against myself. Now I can say I completed a marathon. Had I quit, I wouldn’t know that I can push myself to complete any goal I set for myself,” said Harris.
Coach Frank Ruona added, “Talk about grit and determination; he finished this marathon on the first time coming out.”
Katz said, their circumstances are not the best, “but you see guys reaching for their best, and that’s remarkable. They say you can’t control your environment; you can only control how you respond to it. That’s easier said then done, but here you see guys doing it in this environment, and they are not only surviving, but thriving.”
“It’s a challenge for anybody to get out there to run 26 miles. This is a team effort; we push and support each other. I think a lot of the guys are behind on their training, but whatever they run is impressive,” said 1000-Mile member Tone Evans.
“Completing the marathon is an act of love,” added Taylor. “You have to love yourself before you can love others. Not loving myself is how I ended up in prison. You have to love yourself to take care of yourself.”
Other finishers included: Jonathan Chiu in 4:46:26; Al Yaseng in 4:44:46; and Darren Settlemyer in 4:04:44. The 58-year-old Lee Goins completed 25 miles in 4:42:27.
By Marcus Henderson