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


26.2 To Life, by San Francisco filmmaker Christine Yoo, paperwork the story of the San Quentin Marathon–a marathon that takes place each November contained in the partitions of a maximum-security jail, and which, for a number of males, has represented a path to rehabilitation and a brand new life. The movie opens in U.S. theatres on Sept. 22.


The membership, which advanced someday after a small group of volunteer coaches got permission to begin a working membership within the jail 16 years in the past, is named the 1,000 Mile Membership–the thought being that inmates may rack up 1,000 miles throughout their interval of incarceration. The membership’s chief is volunteer coach Frank Ruona, a veteran of 78 marathons (together with many Boston Marathon finishes) and 38 ultras. Different common volunteers embody Western States Endurance Run board president Diana Fitzpatrick and in style ultrarunner Dylan Bowman.

Markelle Taylor Boston Marathon
Markelle Taylor ending the 2019 Boston Marathon. Picture: courtesy of 26.2 To Life

The movie paperwork the 2018 San Quentin Marathon, which includes 105 laps of the jail yard–a mixture of gravel, pavement and dust, with six 90-degree turns in every loop. Twice, that 12 months’s marathon was delayed–as soon as by wildfires within the space, and as soon as by deaths within the jail on account of drug overdoses. Generally the race itself is interrupted by alarms. When an alarm sounds, everybody within the yard should drop to the bottom. The primary time an alarm sounds throughout the 2018 marathon, the boys are sitting on the bottom for seven minutes. Then the race resumes.

Former San Quentin lifer runs his quickest marathon but at Boston

As he does yearly, the membership’s quickest runner, Markelle Taylor (nicknamed “The Gazelle”), gained the race. Because it occurred, Taylor’s sentence was commuted the identical 12 months, and he went on to run the 2019 Boston Marathon as a charity runner, ending in 3:03–a virtually seven-minute private greatest.

San Quentin is a Degree 4 most safety jail, and lots of the males depicted within the movie are serving life sentences for homicide. Every describes what led to their incarceration, however Ruona says he’s not fascinated about their crimes–he’ll lend an ear if an inmate needs to speak, however he doesn’t 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 vary lives which might be generally with out hope. “I simply really feel like I’m my brother’s keeper,” Ruona says, citing an Outdated Testomony verse about Cain and Abel. “If he wants 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 Life

On the time the movie was made, one other runner, Tommy Wickerd, had been sober and gang-free for 18 years, and had not too long ago accomplished his highschool diploma. He utilized for a commutation of his sentence, however by no means obtained a response. His earliest doable launch date is in 2053; he will probably be 86 when he will get out. However he’s philosophical. His spouse, Marian, is determinedly loyal, and he has a son with whom he has a powerful relationship. “If I preserve working, I’ll be all proper,” he says.

26.2 To Life opens in theatres in New York Metropolis, 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 at present no screenings scheduled in Canada, however we’ll present updates if that modifications. For extra data, seek the advice of the movie’s web site, right here. 



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