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At Run Malibu we are passionate about celebrating the everyday superheroes out there who make this world a better place because of their beliefs and values. Today we want to honor Julie Weiss (aka Marathon Goddess).

Julie started running along the beach, with her dog. “I was overweight and depressed. I could barely make it from one life guard tower to the next.” Julie recalls of her first runs.

Nonetheless, she kept putting one foot in front of the other and found a new road beckoning. Running gave her the answers she was looking for.

Unfortunately, as things began to improve with both her mental and physical health, her beloved father and biggest fan died suddenly of pancreatic cancer after only 35 days from being diagnosed. Instead of letting her grief and sorrow defeat her, she decided to turn her new pursuit into a purpose and, in his memory, embarked on an incredible endeavor to raise money and hope in the fight against pancreatic cancer. Between 2012-13 Julie, aka the Marathon Goddess, ran 52 marathons in 52 weeks. Along the way she was featured in a major documentary film, Spirit of the Marathon II, appeared on national television and attracted a passionate social media following, as she logged the miles of each of her 52 marathons in honor of individuals lost to or fighting pancreatic cancer. Ultimately, she has raised nearly a million dollars for the cause.

“Running is truly a gift. We are so lucky that we can move our bodies. I am my best self when I run.” Julie said.

Julie Weiss at the 13th Annual Malibu Half Marathon, 5K & Kids Run
Julie on the Malibu course wearing a purple singlet in support of Pancreatic Cancer Research.

When asked how she manages it all she said, “I try to run early in the morning before work and before your day gets away from you. Running early gives me a sense of control and accomplishment. Getting your workout done early can set you up for a great day. It reduces stress and makes life easier to handle. I love the quote: ‘Either you run the day or the day runs you’."

“Running is truly a gift. We are so lucky that we can move our bodies. I am my best self when I run.” Julie said.

We also asked her how she finds the motivation to keep going.

“I find my motivation in doing things that I LOVE, but also for people or causes that I deeply care for. Running to help cure pancreatic cancer gives me purpose. It's a cause that I am passionate about and now I run for all of the people I’ve met along the way who struggle with this disease.”

Joining the LA Road Runners also helps her stay motivated and be part of a community. “I used to walk my dog down to the beach and see thousands of people running in groups, all shapes, sizes and colors and it was so beautiful. One day my Dad suggested I join a running group and so I did. The LA Road Runners truly changed my life.” she added.

Her advice to fellow runners/walkers?

She actually wrote a book about it: The Miles and Trials of a Marathon Goddess: 52 Weeks, 52 Marathons. Here’s one of our favorite excerpts from Chapter 22.

“The biggest obstacle is just getting out the door. Keep in mind a few things:

Running is not sprinting (especially for beginners). A lot of beginners make the mistake of thinking that if they are going to become runners, they have to run fast. And then when they go out and try to run hard the first time out, they feel miserable, and say they suck at running, and give up.That’s not how you start a running program. Strange as it may sound, you start running by not running: just go out for a brisk walk for 30 minutes. If you choose, you can then gradually build up to a walk/run. Eventually your entire workout is running and even then, it’s still usually at a moderate, aerobic pace. Then and only then is it time to think about going faster. If you’re a beginner, you’re a long way from that now, don't make the mistake of thinking that running for health and fitness is an all-out (or as the guys like to say) “balls-to-the-wall” sprint. I’m in awe of the Alison Felix’s and Usain Bolt’s of the world. But, we’re not doing what they do.

Julie with Run Malibu co-founder promoting her book.
Julie with Run Malibu co-founder promoting her book.

Do what it takes to make running enjoyable. [...]

Run with your dog. (Like I did. I ran with Jessie for almost 14 years.)

Find a scenic area to run (Like I did. Hawaii...yeah, I know, almost too scenic. But I’m sure there’s a nice park or safe neighborhood near you).

Listen to your music (although please, be careful with this. Better on the treadmill than alone, outside, when you can’t hear a car coming).

Join a running group, invite a friend. It just may change your life, like it did mine.”

To date she has completed 112 full marathons. And, she’s not stopping anytime soon.

Do what it takes to make running enjoyable. [...]

She is currently running 11 marathons in 11 months to bring awareness about the fact that the survival rate for pancreatic cancer is merely 11%. In order to support Julie’s amazing efforts and inspiring commitment, for the entire month of June Run Malibu will be donating $11 to the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research for every registrant who has Julie's unique code. If you’re interested in supporting this cause and getting Julie’s code you can follow her Instagram account.

We love you Julie, keep up your incredible work! 💜


Make 2022 the year to fearlessly drive forward. A chance to reload, but stronger this time. #MalibuReloaded! Give yourself an incredible goal to work toward. When you cross that finish line at Zuma Beach and hear the cheers from thousands of fellow runners and walkers, you’ll be glad you signed up!


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