Saint Cyr Dimanche ’19 is an International and Global Studies major and resides in Worcester, Massachusetts with his family. What sets him apart from most other Brandeis students is that he is a runner who has participated in several kilometer runs and on Monday, April 17, he ran the Boston Marathon. He made the decision to run in the marathon over the summer. 

A friend of his urged him to run with a charity group rather than running individually. Dimanche chose to run for the American Red Cross Association and the association, in turn, accepted him onto their running team. Once he was fully committed to running for this particular charity, his training regimen picked up intensely.

“Little by little I started running on my own,” Dimanche said in an interview with the Justice. Before winter break, he met with a coach who provided him with a more concrete plan for his ongoing training. Being both a student and marathon runner is not a simple feat. Dimanche had to go out and train by himself and maintain a time-sensitive schedule. He ran twenty or more miles every weekend during the year, which, according to his training schedule, meant that he needed a minimum of eight hours of sleep before the runs, as well as ample time to relax afterwards. While this sort of routine is hard to maintain as a student, Dimanche claims that “everyone was very supportive” both throughout his training and preparation process as well as on the marathon day itself.

Once that day finally arrived, Dimanche posed questions to himself. He wondered if he would make it to the finish line and whether or not he would get injured throughout the course of those 26.2 miles. As he stood at the starting line, specifically, he could not believe that he was truly about to run the Boston Marathon. Once he started running, he said, some of that anxious feeling ebbed away as he noticed the crowds cheering him on from the sidewalks. “I didn’t expect to see so many people. It was amazing” Dimanche asserted. Once he crossed the finish line, Dimanche said he felt overjoyed and “did not feel tired at all.” He greeted the friends, Brandeis faculty, and the family that came to support him and was thankful for their unwavering encouragement. 

However, the support is not the only factor that propelled Dimanche. “One of my motivations is to help other people, because people helped me get a good scholarship to go to Brandeis so I see this as a way to give back to the community,” Dimanche said. A lot of people donated to the American Red Cross Association in support of his run, so he felt as though he needed to “prepare and show that he can do it” and make them all proud.   

Aside from making everyone around him proud through his philanthropic running, Dimanche has personal running goals that he sets for himself. His goal with every marathon is to shave off ten minutes from his previous marathon’s running time. At that rate, after several more marathons, he could reach an elite running level. His current overarching goal, however, is to qualify this summer within his age group for next year’s Boston Marathon. 

Going forward, Dimanche is certain that he wants to run the marathon again next year, “especially after seeing all the people from around the globe running,” and because he wants another shot at improving his personal running time. During the school year, he always thinks of himself as “a student first” and has time to run between seven and thirteen miles a week, although he wishes he had time to run more. 

Over the summer, he hopes to train more intensely seven days a week and change his diet. Dimanche said the day before the race he pictured the marathon’s route, how he was going to do, and imagined that he would soon be able to proclaim that he finished a Boston Marathon. Needless to say, it is no longer in his imagination.