The San Quentin Prison Marathon is a grueling test of willpower and stamina. The 26.2 mile course is punishing: 105 laps on a quarter-mile, uneven, mostly dirt track that encircles the prison’s lower yard. Over the past nine years, more than 300 inmates have signed up to train for this marathon, but only 35 men have completed it. The runners’ crimes range from murder and armed robbery to drunk driving and drug related violations. Many of the runners are serving life sentences. To these men, training for and running in this challenging race offers a hard won sense of accomplishment and an elusive taste of freedom.