1. Headline
  1. Headline
TODAY
By
TODAY contributor
updated 3/18/2013 8:42:12 AM ET 2013-03-18T12:42:12

Julie Weiss is the Energizer Bunny of marathon runners. For 52 weeks, she kept on going and going and going.

On Sunday, she finally stopped. As she crossed the finish line of the Los Angeles Marathon, she reached her goal of running a marathon every week for a year to raise awareness for the disease that killed her father.

"Pancreatic cancer is my only competition out there and I intend to beat it,” she told TODAY.

The 42-year-old California mother of two started her year-long journey after her father passed away in November 2010, only a month after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The experience stunned her.

Story: Girl Scout, 7, small due to rare illness, sells huge number of cookies

"People don't know what we're dealing with here,” she said. “It's almost like a death sentence.”

She started her mission with a marathon in Rome and followed with a race every weekend throughout the United States and Canada. She would work her 9-to-5 job during the week and then immediately hop on a plane. She finished each race with a huge smile and arms raised — and then head back home Sunday.

"We have never had anybody do what Julie Weiss has done,” said Pam Marquardt, founder of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

TODAY
Weiss and her dad, who died a month after his diagnosis.

So far, Weiss has raised $177, 378 for the charity, according to her website www.MarathonGoddess.com, a play off the nickname she’s been dubbed by fans.

David Levine, her fiancé, acknowledged it has been a hard journey.

Story: Police officer's act of kindness goes viral

“Psychologically, it was taxing, difficult, tiring,” he said.

  1. Stories from
    1. Curt Schilling Battles Mouth Cancer; Blames Chewing Tobacco
    2. Little League Sensation Mo'ne Davis Makes the Cover of Sports Illustrated
    3. The Most Shocking Ice Bucket Challenge to Date? Anna Wintour Douses Her Famous Bob
    4. Elizabeth Vargas and Marc Cohn Divorcing as She Returns to Rehab, Source Says
    5. Pete Wentz Goes Blond! Plus, Another Celeb Hair Change You Have to See

Completing 52 marathons in 52 weeks means that Weiss has run 1,362.4 miles. That’s roughly the distance between St. Louis to Boston.

Although Weiss runs each race in memory of her father, she dedicates each marathon to a cancer victim.

“In memory of Lydia Jack, she passed at only 52, so Lydia 52 is also for YOU!” she wrote on her blog.

Weiss now plans to take a break, but she said she plans to pick up her race pace again soon. Her next goal is to run another 52 marathons in 52 weeks by 2020 to reach her ultimate goal of raising $1 million dollars for pancreatic cancer research and awareness.

© 2013 NBCNews.com  Reprints

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. Nicole Tung / freejamesfoley.org via AP file

    Journalist James Foley's parents 'haunted' by how he died

    8/20/2014 7:35:14 PM +00:00 2014-08-20T19:35:14
  1. Cindy Ord / Getty Images

    6 things I wish I knew before getting a dog

    8/20/2014 5:25:06 PM +00:00 2014-08-20T17:25:06
  1. Savannah Guthrie via Twitter

    Savannah Guthrie, baby Vale send adorable birthday wishes to Al Roker

    8/20/2014 6:43:47 PM +00:00 2014-08-20T18:43:47
  1. On milestone birthday, Al shares 6 lessons for 6 decades

     Al Roker, who joined the national broadcast in 1996, is celebrating the big 6-0 and he’s sharing six lessons he learned along the way.

    8/20/2014 12:08:26 PM +00:00 2014-08-20T12:08:26
  2. video Jennifer Hudson, Heidi Klum, send well-wishes for Al

    video Some famous faces send along happy birthday messages for TODAY’s Al Roker. “You make 60 look hot,” said Heidi Klum.

    8/20/2014 2:10:22 PM +00:00 2014-08-20T14:10:22
  3. ‘Everybody loves you, buddy!’Joe Biden surprises Al for birthday

    For the last year, Al has been begging the vice president to join TODAY’s Take and it finally happened! That was just one of the many surprises for Roker on his big day.

    8/20/2014 2:06:34 PM +00:00 2014-08-20T14:06:34
  4. Peter Kramer / NBC
  1. Jeff Christensen / Reuters file

    Billy Crystal to honor Robin Williams during Emmy Awards

    8/20/2014 7:29:28 PM +00:00 2014-08-20T19:29:28