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New jail marathon documentary chronicles San Quentin’s 1,000 Mile Membership

26.2 To Existence, by way of San Francisco filmmaker Christine Yoo, paperwork the tale of the San Quentin Marathon–a marathon that takes position each and every November within the partitions of a maximum-security jail, and which, for a number of males, has represented a trail to rehabilitation and a brand new existence. The movie opens in U.S. theatres on Sept. 22.


The membership, which advanced someday after a small staff of volunteer coaches got permission to start out a working membership within the jail 16 years in the past, is named the 1,000 Mile Membership–the theory being that inmates may just rack up 1,000 miles throughout their duration of incarceration. The membership’s chief is volunteer trainer Frank Ruona, a veteran of 78 marathons (together with many Boston Marathon finishes) and 38 ultras. Different common volunteers come with Western States Staying power Run board president Diana Fitzpatrick and widespread ultrarunner Dylan Bowman.

Markelle Taylor Boston Marathon
Markelle Taylor completing the 2019 Boston Marathon. Picture: courtesy of 26.2 To Existence

The movie paperwork the 2018 San Quentin Marathon, which comes to 105 laps of the jail backyard–a mixture of gravel, pavement and mud, with six 90-degree turns in each and every loop. Two times, that yr’s marathon was once behind schedule–as soon as by way of wildfires within the space, and as soon as by way of deaths within the jail because of drug overdoses. Every now and then the race itself is interrupted by way of alarms. When an alarm sounds, everybody within the backyard should drop to the bottom. The primary time an alarm sounds throughout the 2018 marathon, the boys are sitting at the flooring for seven mins. Then the race resumes.

Former San Quentin lifer runs his quickest marathon but at Boston

As he does annually, the membership’s quickest runner, Markelle Taylor (nicknamed “The Gazelle”), gained the race. Because it came about, Taylor’s sentence was once commuted the similar yr, and he went directly to run the 2019 Boston Marathon as a charity runner, completing in 3:03–a just about seven-minute non-public very best.

San Quentin is a Stage 4 most safety jail, and lots of the males depicted within the movie are serving existence sentences for homicide. Every describes what resulted in their incarceration, however Ruona says he’s no longer taken with their crimes–he’ll lend an ear if an inmate desires to speak, however he does no longer ask what introduced them to San Quentin. He’s merely there to assist–and to be a witness to the transformative energy of working to modify lives which are from time to time with out hope. “I simply really feel like I’m my brother’s keeper,” Ruona says, bringing up an Outdated Testomony verse about Cain and Abel. “If he wishes assist, I’m gonna attempt to assist him.”

markelle taylor at san quentin marathon
Markelle Taylor, the “Gazelle” of San Quentin. Picture: Jonath Mathew, courtesy of 26.2 To Existence

On the time the movie was once made, any other runner, Tommy Wickerd, were sober and gang-free for 18 years, and had just lately finished his highschool degree. He carried out for a commutation of his sentence, however by no means were given a reaction. His earliest conceivable liberate date is in 2053; he’ll be 86 when he will get out. However he’s philosophical. His spouse, Marian, is determinedly dependable, and he has a son with whom he has a powerful courting. “If I stay working, I’ll be all proper,” he says.

26.2 To Existence opens in theatres in New York Town, the San Francisco Bay space, Los Angeles, Milwaukee and Seattle on Sept. 22, and there will probably be a 72-hour digital premiere from Sept. 29 to Oct. 1. There are these days no screenings scheduled in Canada, however we’ll supply updates if that adjustments. For more info, seek the advice of the movie’s website online, right here




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