Los Angeles News
Woman runs 52 marathons in 52 weeks for father, pancreatic cancer awareness
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The L.A. Marathon races into the Southland on Sunday, and for Santa Monica's Julie Weiss, it will be her last marathon in a streak of 52 races in 52 weeks.
"My dad became my biggest fan when I started running marathons," she said. "He was just so overjoyed when I started running and would tell all his friends about all these marathons that I'm running."
Her father passed away just over two years ago of pancreatic cancer, a disease that has less than a 5 percent survival rate.
"As I learned more about pancreatic cancer, I had to do something more to raise awareness and raise hope and raise money for this severely underfunded disease," she said. "So I decided to do something dramatic."
She decided to run 52 marathons in 52 weeks as a testament to her father, and the human spirit.
"The challenge for me has been more about the travel because I work 9-5 and I have to leave my office on a Friday, travel to a different city, state, country, and get back to work by Monday morning at 9 a.m.," she said.
She's earned the nickname Marathon Goddess, and she's become quite a folk hero in the running community.
"I'm just amazed by what she's done on a physical level and an emotional level, and I have three young children who are 1, 4 and 7, and at this point, even imagining being able to do something like that is joyful for me," said runner Amara Hastings.
While most runners have been recovering in the past three weeks in an effort to peak on Sunday, Julie was running the peaks of Catalina just a week ago, all 26.2 miles. Her collection of medals speak to her incredible journey in the past year.
"Somehow I was able to do it, I think I've got some angels looking out for me," she said.
The joy for Julie will be putting an exclamation point on raising $170,000.
"I'm getting chills right now that I'm going to see that finish line, and I'm going to have all my friends by my side, and I'm going to have my dad in my heart, and it's just going to be overwhelming," she said.
To learn more about Julie Weiss and her 52-week journey, visit her website at marathongoddess.com.
charity, cancer, los angeles news, curt sandoval
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