Skull’s first place was short lived; Taylor gains top spot on second day
By Rahsaan Thomas
With West Block locked down, this year’s 1000 Mile Club three-mile race happened on two different days. Chris Skull took first place in the initial three-mile race with a time of 19:04. However, Markelle Taylor and Eddie Herena reclaimed their usual spots at first and second place in the makeup race held once West Block got off lockdown.
Usually Skull takes second behind Taylor, who holds the most 1000 Mile Club records for first place, or third behind Herena, who were both locked down due to a medical quarantine that made them miss the Feb. 24 race.
“I always hope that those guys will be out here,” Skull said. “It’s a lot more motivation when the whole team is out here. But knowing me, I probably would have ran with them and given them a little competition. I was gonna gun Eddie down anyway.”
After the race, volunteer Mark Stevens told Skull, “Your pacing was amazing.” Later, Stevens said, “I really like coaching Chris.”
Stevens, a recruit from the Tamalpa running club, counted Skull’s laps and noticed he held about a 6:42 per mile pace.
Just as Skull had gotten used to winning, West Block came off lockdown and held the makeup race on March 3, where Taylor beat Skull’s time, coming in at 17:21 and reclaiming first place. He missed beating the record he set last year, completing the 12 laps in 16:47.
“I was still feeling the effects of the cold I had on lockdown,” Taylor said. “It goes to show you no matter what sickness you may have, never give up — keep pushing. I dedicate this one to my track family and all the people suffering from illness — never give up.”
Herena took second with a time of 18:29, pushing Skull back into third place.
“I had an extra week to prepare,” Herena said. “Which gave me an advantage.”
Skull also ran in the second race and improved his time to 18:44, as many 1000 Club Mile members did.
“He (Skull) ran faster but still finished third,” said sponsor Frank Ruona. “Having the competition spurred him to improve his performance.”
Chris Schuhmacher ran in both races and improved from 20:06 to 20:02.
Larry Ford, 61, reran the race also, breaking his own 60-and-over record of last year 22:02 twice, first with a time of 21:42 then improving to 21:02.
“Running in the first race gave me a better idea of what pace I could run at today,” Ford said. “I’ve been injured a while and didn’t know what pace I could go at. Last week felt good, so I ran at a seven-minute-per-mile pace today.”
New member Alvin Timbol ran with an MP3 player clipped to his waist while listening to “I love you, I hate you,” by Gnash featuring Olivia O’Brien.
“The beats per minute help me with my pace when I run,” Timbol said. “My heart is in tune with the beat.”
Timbol completed the course in 24:33.
Mike Keyes, 69, ran faster as the race went on. He finished the first mile with a time of 7:52, the next at 7:40 and the final mile at 7:17, for a total time of 22:52.
“That’s a sign of somebody who is fit,” said volunteer Kevin Rumon.
Cardiologist, cardiac rehab specialist and long distance runner Ben Rosin, M.D., found that people who run marathons live on average 19 years longer than U.S. men who reached age 40 in 1975, according to a Newswire article.
Other top finishers included Oscar Aguilar at 20:32; Steve Reitz at 20:33 and Tommy Wickerd at 20:57.
The three-mile race was in preparation for running the marathon that is scheduled for Nov. 17. Filmmaker Christine Yoo plans to film the annual marathon for a documentary.