Julie Weiss, center, completed her 52nd marathon in 52 weeks. With her is… (Damian Dovarganes / Associated…)
Julie Weiss of Santa Monica is indeed a Marathon Goddess.
Weiss crossed the finish line of the Los Angeles Marathon in 5:17:44. The blogger, who details her running exploits at MarathonGoddess.com, would have had a faster finish if not for the media interviews she stopped to do along the way and the fans who met her for hugs and high-fives.
For Weiss, 42, the race marked the end of her quest to run 52 marathons in a year to raise money to fight pancreatic cancer, which had claimed her father's life. She ran part of the last mile of the 26.2-mile course with two pancreatic cancer survivors. In a symbolic end to her journey, she released two purple balloons at the finish line, one for her father, Maurice, and the other to honor all who have fought the disease.
"It was such an emotional moment," Weiss said. "There were tears; there was happiness. I am in deep gratitude for all of the support I've gotten."
In all, Weiss raised more than $179,000 for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network of Manhattan Beach, but she's not done. Weiss plans to raise $1 million in all by running another 52 marathons (not all in one year).
"Julie is truly an inspiration to all those involved in the fight against pancreatic cancer, and we are so proud to have been a part of her amazing journey over the past year," said Julie Fleshman, president and chief executive of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
Weiss, who was back at work Monday, said she is spending the week resting, and feeling a little out of sorts. "I don't think it's sunk in yet that I don't have to run a marathon this weekend."