She ran 52 marathons in 52 weeks and now she’s the 2013 Woman of the Year for the state’s 28th Senate District.
Julie Weiss of Santa Monica was selected for the honor by Sen. Ted Lieu after she completed her inspiring goal of running 52 marathon races over one year by finishing the Los Angeles Marathon in March. Weiss, who was dubbed the “marathon goddess” for her feat, set out on the challenge as a way to help fight pancreatic cancer and to honor her father, who passed away from the disease.
Weiss, 43, a self-described real estate consultant “by day,” was hoping to raise awareness for the disease and raised nearly $200,000 for the Manhattan Beach-based Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
Starting with the Rome Marathon in March 2012 and concluding with the Los Angeles Marathon a year later, Weiss ran 1,362.4 miles. Lieu has chosen to honor the dedicated marathon runner for her efforts to raised public awareness, hope and money nationwide for pancreatic cancer, the fourth-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.
Weiss said her passion for running began in 2007 when she found a soulful response to the simple act of taking a jog during a family vacation. The mother of two recalled being overweight and reliant on antidepressants at the time, but she became motivated to get off the couch and run for a purpose.
“I starting running and soon discovered that I didn’t need my meds and my extra weight melted away,” Weiss said of the life-changing moment.
Lieu will formally present Weiss with her Woman of the Year award Sunday, May 19 at about 10 a.m. during closing ceremonies at the finish line of the PurpleStride Los Angeles, a 5k run and walk at Exposition Park in Los Angeles to help raise money for pancreatic cancer.