SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Julie Weiss will run her 36th marathon Sunday in Sacramento. She’s focused on her goal: raising money for cancer research.
For Weiss, it was a mid-life crisis that sparked her passion for running.
“I was overweight, I had two children, and I was on anti-depressants,” said Julie.
But running soon became her stress release.
“The weight fell off, and I didn’t need the anti-depressants anymore, and my life started to change,” she said.
Weiss’ number one supporter is her father, and she wanted to make him proud by qualifying for the Boston Marathon.
“That was our greatest dream. Unfortunately he didn’t make it,” she said.
He passed away 35 days after being diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer.
“It was so devastating,” she said.
One week after his passing in 2010, she ran the California International Marathon. A photo at the finish line is a moment that, to this day, gives her goose bumps because she qualified for Boston.
“He was the wind at my back. He had the best seat in the house: my heart. When we crossed that finish line my fingers are pointing to him in heaven,” she said.
Weiss is now running 52 marathons in 52 weeks to raise money for a good cause.
“I thought it would be a great way to raise awareness for pancreatic cancer,” she said.
Her next race is the California International Marathon. It’s number 36 on her journey, and will have the toughest race weather yet.
“We’re all going to get wet. There’s no getting around it,” she said.
Heavy downpour and 40-mile-per-hour wind is expected.
“Hopefully the wind will be at our back,” she said.
She plans to wear a poncho, hat, gloves and a lot of layers to stay warm.
But more than anything, she says she plans to wear a smile because she knows her dad will be watching her.
“We’re going to run in puddles and slow us down, but that’s OK. Just keep going, keep smiling, keep moving on,” she said.
Weiss’ goal is to raise $1 million. So far, she’s reached the $100,000 mark.
When she’s all done, she will have run more than 1,300 miles.