They’re going the distance and they’re going for something much more than speed. In an effort to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network, Cavan Cuyler, James Han, John Lemus, Patrick Lo and Issei Saida of the Sigma Chi chapter ran in the Los Angeles Marathon on March 5.
To raise money, the five asked community members and UCI students to sponsor them for every mile they ran. The marathon was a physical endurance test that the five hadn’t faced before. Lemus, a first-year undeclared major, is the only one of the five fraternity brothers that has run in the marathon before.
‘I started running the marathon last year with my uncle and a friend. I’m glad I can run it with brothers and I’m hoping it becomes a tradition with our chapter,’ Lemus said. ‘It’s different from any other sport that I’ve done. It’s almost purely mental. It’s you running and thinking and that’s what makes it such a challenge.’
All five men put in countless hours since November training for the 26 mile marathon.
Training exercises included going to the ARC to lift weights, morning runs on the beach and intensive runs in Irvine. Not only did their schedule have to change to accommodate workouts, but their diet had to be manipulated in order to prepare as well.
‘Pasta. Pasta. Pasta. After every workout I was eating the stuff. Chicken is key, too,’ Han said, a third-year social science major. ‘I went from eating fast food and junk food to a bunch of healthy food. Drinking tons of water and taking daily vitamins was another important step for my preparation.’
However, even with months of preparation, the brothers felt the burn of the marathon in the later miles. Thankfully, booths that distributed water and aspirin were found on every couple of miles.
Cuyler, a fourth-year history major, fortunately came prepared with his own bottle of aspirin.
‘My father has run in marathons in the past, so before the marathon he told me, ‘You’re going to want this, trust me’ and handed me a bottle of aspirin,’ Cuyler chuckled. ‘He was right. Around mile 24 I hit the runner’s wall and that bottle became my best friend for the rest of the race.’
Despite the pain that occurred throughout the months before preparing and the marathon, all of them agreed it was worth it since all of their earnings were going to charity.
Overall, the five men raised nearly $1,300 dollars for the Children’s Miracle Network and the Children’s Hospital of Orange County.
‘All of the pain was for a worthy cause,’ Saida said, a second-year Philosophy major and the Philanthropy chair. ‘This is the prelude to our annual philanthropy Derby Days and it’s definitely the way to step off on the right foot.’