“Pancreatic cancer is my only competition out there & I intend to beat it.” (Today Show)
Julie Weiss is known to many as the “Marathon Goddess.” After completing the LA Marathon on March 17, she’s proved to be an inspiration to all. The 42-year-old mother of two finished her 52nd marathon in Los Angeles – in a span of 52 weeks. That’s 26.2 miles every single week for 2012. Julie’s 2012 journey is incredible, but her story is even more powerful.
In 2007, Julie was an “overweight single mom relying on medication to fight her depression” (LA Times). A friend encouraged her to start running and Julie immediately fell in love with the road. Before long she had completed a triathlon and shed all of her antidepressant medications. Her biggest fan – her father – was always there to encourage and push her. He helped her train to qualify for the Boston Marathon and gave her the strength to keep training after failing to qualify eighteen times for the race. Julie finally qualified on her 19th attempt – but the sweetness was bittersweet. She’d learned just one week earlier that her father had died after has bout with pancreatic cancer.
Julie felt compelled to do something more than just run. She wanted to use the sport to raise money and awareness and fight the disease that had robbed her of her father. She turned her website into a fundraising platform for Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and has traversed the globe every weekend for the last year, completing 26.2 miles at each stop. New York, LA, Rome, Canada – Julie has finished marathons all over. Even better – she has raised over $180,000 for PCAN.
Now that she’s completed 1,362.4 miles, Julie plans to rest in 2013. But she’s far from done. Her next goal is to do another “52 in 52” before 2020 and ultimately raise $1 million for pancreatic cancer research and awareness (Today).