Updated: Oct 21
I just saw the fascinating documentary about the 1000 mile club at San Quentin prison called '26.2 to Life'.
The film '26.2 TO LIFE' refers to the 26.2 mile marathon run at San Quentin Prison featuring 3 inmates and their stories, pasts, and life now.
Markelle Taylor, Tommy Wickard, and Rahsaan Thomas.
There is so much more to these men's lives than you know.
'26.2 TO LIFE' documentary offers a nuanced perspective. It is riveting and heartfelt.
It helps to open our eyes to what incarcerated men live through on a daily basis, their hopes, ambitions, and regrets for their wrongdoings. It is a story about transformation and second chances for some and or a form of redemption for others.
The documentary begins with a powerful introduction by Bryan Stevenson an American lawyer, social justice activist, law professor at New York University School of Law, and the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative.
The 1000 mile club began at the oldest prison in California, San Quentin Prison in 2005 when Tamalpan runner Frank Ruona volunteered to begin coaching and running with a small group of inmates.
The goal was for the club members to work toward running 1000 miles in prison since many were lifers. The club has grown to 70 current members and 341 members over the years.
Frank doesn't care what you did he just cares about what you are going to do now.
Frank continues his coaching. Many members have reached the thousand-mile goal and several have run several thousand miles in San Quentin.
The full marathon is run in November on a tiny ¼ mile loop 105 times, laid out in the exercise yard, which includes six 90-degree turns and many obstacles including other inmates.
The main focus of '26.2 TO LIFE' is Markelle Taylor, whom I met after the viewing. He still lives and works in Marin.
Markelle Taylor started running with the 1000 Mile Club in San Quentin State Prison as an antidote to despair. Running inside prison can be a freeing experience.
Markelle was released in March 2019 after almost 18 years inside.
Six weeks later he ran the Boston Marathon at 3:03:52
He has run 12 marathons since being free.
He ran the Boston Marathon again with a time of 2:52:00.
Now he’s returning to the San Quentin Prison as a mentor.
Markelle is an active advocate for juvenile justice reform and a Social worker.
Take the time to read this article, I found it captivating and very thorough about Markelle.
The director said, “Our main social goal is to change people’s assumptions that they have about people in prison.”
"They are not the worst thing that they have ever done"
Words from Markelle "I am not my life crime... I am a wonderful, beautiful human being"
About the 1000 mile members. What brings them together is their common interest in running and the goal of becoming better people. #262toLife #SanQuentinMarathon #SanQuentinPrisonMarathon #MarkelleTheGazzelle
Here is the Spotify link for the amazing hip-hop soundtrack
If the links do not work, copy and past to your browser. They are safe.