Photo courtesy of Julie Weiss

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

Julie Weiss, known as the “Marathon Goddess,” will run the Palisades Will Rogers 5 & 10K Race on July 4 to honor Arnie Wishnick, who passed away on April 27 after a months-long battle against pancreatic cancer.

In 2012-13, Weiss ran 52 marathons in 52 weeks to raise more than $500,000 for pancreatic cancer after losing her father Maurice 35 days after his diagnosis.

She picked running marathons to honor her father because growing up, she had a “rocky” relationship with him, but when she started running 10 years ago, “running changed and repaired all of that” for the last two years of his life.

“My father was my biggest fan when I started running,” Weiss said.

Weiss, a Santa Monica resident, balanced running 52 marathons with a full-time job in a real estate office in Brentwood. She flew around the world, as far as Rome and Hawaii, and back again by Monday to be in the office.

After her first year of marathons, Weiss was inspired to keep running and keep fundraising, leading her to launch the 52 Races for 52 Faces campaign—this time, completing races of different lengths, many of them local. 

“I dedicate every single race to someone affected [by pancreatic cancer],” Weiss shared. “I want to meet these people and know these people and help these families.”

52 Races for 52 Faces started with the 2019 Los Angeles Marathon and will end there in 2020. The Palisades race, which she has completed several times before, will be number 15 in the series.

“When some of the races get hard, I think about these people battling pancreatic cancer and my run becomes nothing compared to that,” Weiss said. “It keeps me motivated and fuels me to do everything I can do.”

Weiss is a national ambassador for the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.

“[Arnie] loved the Palisades,” Weiss said. “I’m honored to run for him in his memory as a tribute.”

Following the race, Weiss will be at Porta Via Palisades in Palisades Village to meet community members and sign copies of her recently released memoir, “The Miles and Trials of a Marathon Goddess.”

For more information about Weiss and her campaign, visit 52racesfor52faces.com.