The Marathon Goddess is running her 100th in L.A. -- all to raise research funds

This year's Los Angeles Marathon will be Julie Weiss' 100th marathon in her ongoing quest to raise money for pancreatic cancer research.
(Michael Robinson Chávez / Los Angeles Times)

You might remember Julie Weiss from the last time we wrote about her, in 2013, when she was celebrating running her 52nd marathon … in 52 weeks.

Well, since we left her, she’s kept on running. And now, Weiss, 45, of Santa Monica, is about to mark the running of her 100th marathon at Sunday’s Los Angeles Marathon, further solidifying her reputation as a Marathon Goddess (which also happens to be the name of her website).

Weiss does it all to raise money for the fight against pancreatic cancer, the disease that claimed her father’s life in 2010. She is expected to raise just over $30,000 by finishing Sunday’s race. She said her grand total raised so far is just over $350,000. She’d like to raise a million dollars in her lifetime.


Weiss caught the running bug about a decade ago, when she was an overweight single mom on medication because of depression. A friend suggested she go for a run. Turns out, she loved it. Before long, she lost about 30 pounds and said goodbye for good to the antidepressants.

The accountant at a commercial real-estate office in Brentwood is working on a book about her transformation from couch potato to running 52 races in a single year, titled “We Got This.”

“What I do is nothing compared to what people with pancreatic cancer go through,” Weiss said this week. She said the race miles fly by because she feels her father’s spirit, and the spirit of others who have fought pancreatic cancer, guiding her to the finish line.

“She is insane in the most fabulous, heartwarming and dedicated way,” said Lisa Manheim, executive director of the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, which benefits from Weiss’ fundraising efforts through her website. (Weiss stresses that she does not touch donations; they go directly to the foundation.) “She is such an inspiration.”


If you are anywhere near Mile 21 of Sunday’s race, you might see Weiss slow down for a few moments for a ceremony marking her most recent donation to the Hirshberg Foundation.

So what is next for Weiss? Well, she is about to become a grandmother. “A young grandmother,” she says.

And then she plans on “taking it easy” for a while.

But her definition might not be the same as yours.


“I’m thinking maybe one or two marathons a year for a while. Maybe I’ll train for Boston again. Or maybe an Ironman?”