Marathon Goddess, Julie Weiss Reaches Milestone: Competitive Runner Raises One Million Dollars for Pancreatic Cancer Research

March 8, 2023

Pancreatic cancer survivors set to celebrate Weiss’ triumph at the Hirshberg Foundation’s Purple People Party Cheer Station and at the finish line at the Los Angeles Marathon

LOS ANGELES, Calif., March 8, 2023 /ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – Ten years ago, at the Los Angeles Marathon, Julie Weiss finished her journey of 52 marathons in 52 weeks, in a quest to raise one million dollars for pancreatic cancer research, and eventually became known as the Marathon Goddess. On Sunday, March 19th, Weiss will be celebrated by pancreatic cancer survivors and supporters as she crosses the Los Angeles Marathon finish line, and at the Hirshberg Foundation’s Purple People Party Cheer Station near Mile 21. The celebration will commemorate Weiss raising more than one million dollars for pancreatic cancer research over the past decade, and helping raise awareness about the disease that has the highest mortality rate of all major cancers.

Following the death of her father to pancreatic cancer, she was feeling determined to make a difference, and running gave her a purpose. As a single, working mother of two, she took on the challenge of running 52 marathons in 52 weeks. Now, a grandmother of two, Weiss’ run at the Los Angeles Marathon this year will mark her 10th anniversary and her 116th marathon, nearly completing 1,000 races to date.

Along her philanthropic journey, Weiss decided to partner with the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing pancreatic cancer research. Her long-time relationship with the Hirshberg Foundation has provided the opportunity for her to fundraise for the foundation throughout most of the past decade. In addition, it allows her to be an ambassador for the foundation, advocating for those directly and indirectly affected by the disease.

“Julie set out to achieve a lofty goal, at the grass roots level, and never wavered in her commitment to see it through,” said Lisa Manheim, Executive Director of the Hirshberg Foundation. “In addition to being our partner in helping spotlight pancreatic cancer, the awareness and money she raised has helped fund much-needed research bringing us one step closer to finding a cure.”

Throughout the years, Weiss has received support and donations from corporate sponsors and running organizations such as: Big 5 Sporting Goods; LA Running Club; Malibu Half Marathon; Kauai Marathon, Kona Marathon and Elite Robotic Surgical Consultants. However, the majority of her fundraising has come from individuals and families that have been impacted by the disease and those she has inspired through her running.

“When I began this journey, my objective was to raise a million dollars to find a cure for pancreatic cancer, the disease that took my father away from me, and to help others affected by this insidious disease,” said Weiss. “Over a decade later, my mission to fight the good fight against pancreatic cancer has evolved to not only fundraise, but to be a voice for patients and to create awareness about the risks.” She added, “Although we have seen progress, more needs to be done, and together, we can find a cure. We got this.”

Each year, Weiss trains and fundraises with the Hirshberg Training Team, a running program to train runners and walkers for the Los Angeles Marathon. In the past decade, the Marathon Goddess has also been the spokesperson for the Hirshberg Foundation’s successful fundraising campaign, 52 Races for 52 Faces, a year-long, philanthropic crusade in which she competitively ran in marathons, half marathons, 10Ks and 5Ks in 52 cities throughout the U.S., and across the Pacific Ocean to shine a light on pancreatic cancer. The campaign started and ended with Weiss running the Los Angeles Marathon which also included the foundation’s signature Halloween fundraiser, the L.A. Cancer Challenge.

As a marathon runner, author, philanthropist, ambassador and advocate, Weiss keeps busy by sharing enduring stories of hope, empowerment, loss and resilience from patients and families fighting for their lives and the lives of their loved ones. Through running, Weiss hopes to show the world that pancreatic cancer is much more than devastating statistics. There is a name and a face behind every survivor, and she is running for them. Upon completing 52 marathons in 52 weeks in 2013, Weiss vigorously pursued her mission to raise a million dollars for pancreatic cancer research which began at the Los Angeles Marathon when the survival rate was only five percent. Today, it is 12%. Currently, Weiss is running 12 races in 12 months to raise awareness about the survival rate. Along the way, Weiss captures her fascinating journey in her award-winning memoir, 52 Weeks, 52 Marathons: The Miles and Trials of a Marathon Goddess written by Julie Weiss with John Hanc and Ali Nolan (Tender Fire/Enhanced Communications). To learn more about Weiss, visit www.marathongoddess.com.


The Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing pancreatic cancer research is focused on finding a cure for pancreatic cancer and empowering patients and families whose lives are touched by this disease. To date, the Hirshberg Foundation has raised more than $32 million for pancreatic cancer research and education as well as granted over $1.2 million in financial aid for patients. Founded in 1997, the Hirshberg Foundation funds groundbreaking scientific research, provides patient education and support, and sustains hope that this cancer will be eradicated once and for all. Learn more at www.pancreatic.org.

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Donald Wilson

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