2012 December


#41 for Brenda Coleman: Let the healing begin because we are going to WIN!

I met Brenda Coleman at Grandma’s Marathon. She is one of those rare, high energy leaders, that you can’t help but love. It was my Marathon number 10 this past June. Brenda is a 11 year SURVIVOR of Pancreatic Cancer. Now she is being challenged again. As rare as this is, the cancer has returned, but if anyone can beat it twice it is Brenda. She is a warrior.
Go Brenda Go!

Go Brenda Go!

Brenda Coleman is Twin Cities Affiliate Coordinator for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. She and TEAMhope welcomed me with open arms when I arrived in Minnesota. IMG_1245 Brenda is so beautiful inside and out. She has a confidence and faith that can move mountains. With your help and Gods love let’s build those mountains higher and stronger than ever before. Thus I ask you to all join in and help her in the fight to beat this again by sending healing, loving energy as she starts her first round of chemo today.
Please pray for no tumor activity ANYWHERE outside the current lung tumor. Pray that the tumor WILL respond to chemo and please everyone send her a big batch of HOPE to keep her mind clean and focused on GOD.
Here I am at Mile 22 at Grandmas marathon. This was such a special mile. She took this picture and was there with all the members of TEAMHOPE with a BIG huge smile, hugs and so much love. I just wanted to stay there. It was such a beautiful warm feeling. Now it’s time to return the favor to Brenda.
We are all here for you and send you all the love and healing energy to stay strong. As I run for you today know every mile is for you, every mile is to heal, every mile is to love and let the healing begin, because we are going to win. As I approach the finish line know that this is symbolic of Brenda getting to the finish line once again and this time she will finish stronger then ever before. Beating pancreatic cancer twice, with more love, strength and all the health in the world.
May you have everything you need and know that you are loved beyond measure. Sending you so much love today, and every day. We got this! xo

Marathon #40 for Dr. Kiva Skolnick – The unsung hero.

Not everyone leaves behind a record, a book or their name on a building. Today I am remembering and running for a man for his dedication and philanthropic endeavors, Dr. Kiva Skolnick. I am so blessed and fortunate to learn about him. Dr Skolnick lived in Beverly, Mass. He was a dentist and in addition to operating a private dental practice for the past 45 years, has also served as the primary dentist at the clinic for more than 40 years, that provides dental care to school age children, ranging from kindergarten to grade 12, whose families are unable to afford dental care. “Thousands of children in Beverly have gotten dental care that could have otherwise gone untreated because of Dr. Skolnick,” said Bill Burke, director of Public Health. “He is a gentle mannered man whose personality has calmed many frightened children. He is our unsung hero.” Kiva made contributions to his home town of Beverly, to dentistry and was devoted to his Temple. A generous man I would have loved to know. It sounds like he had a humorous attitude toward life and he embraced living. It also sounds like there were many who knew him, loved him, cherished and sought his company. However, I get the feeling that he was a very humble man. A role model and someone we wish to emulate and imitate. Kiva leaves behind a legacy to his friends and children and grandchildren. I quote from , “Perhaps we should all learn to adopt some of his ways to make this beautiful world of ours a better and safer place.”
Another amazing and wonderful man taken from us much too soon. Today let us remember and honor a man full of life and love.
Dr. Kiva Skolnick, let’s go have some fun and run 26.2, this ones for you. We got this!

Marathon #39: In honor of Steve Hollenberg

It’s hard to believe I finished marathon #39 today. This journey is going by so fast, I know there is still 12 more, but to me that’s like only 12? Well, today’s marathon was awesome, no taxis, planes, hotels or luggage. What a pleasure. It was right in my back yard, Santa Monica beach. I walked out of the house and was there in less then 5 minutes. I dedicated today’s marathon to Steve Hollenberg who passed away on December 25th, 8 years ago. It was such an honor to remember and run for Steve so close to Christmas. Steve was only 62 when he passed. His neice Karen contacted me when she noticed I run all of my marathons now in honor of someone affected by Pancreatic Cancer. Karen even came out and ran 8 miles with me today. She is so awesome. Thank you Karen!   Steve was a devoted family man – he was so dedicated to his two children, He had three grandchildren and a fourth one born on his birthday, July 8th, after he passed away. He was a mentor to his children regarding their schooling, their careers and many other matters. In 1998, he retired from a 34 year career with GE. He was an electrical engineer by training, but specialized in technical marketing and rose to senior management levels with the company. He retired to the place of his dreams – a private golf course community where the weather was warm. He had the joy of having his daughter, son-in-law and then 1 year old granddaughter move to Savannah as well shortly before he passed away.
He was an ardent amateur photographer and left so many beautiful pictures with his family and friends. He also loved to golf. He had about 4 ongoing weekly golf groups that he played with and spent many hours practicing on the driving range.
He valiantly fought his battle with pancreatic cancer for a year, always keeping up the hope that he would be one of the lucky ones, even toward the end. He wanted to help others who were not as fortunate as he was to have excellent insurance, to live near the cancer treatment center and to not have to deal with work issues (since he was retired). He saw so many people who struggled with so many financial issues while having to fight their cancer. He and his wife talked a bit about setting up a fund – “when I get well” were his words – to help needy cancer patients. His wife took his desire and created a fund at their cancer institute in his memory which does just that.
It was such an honor and a pleasure to learn about this amazing man, who was filled with so much hope and love. That is what my marathons are all about. So in running for Steve today, I felt like he was there with me. The last 8 miles, even though I was alone, I thought about Steve, the special essence of his life and that made me smile. I think we can all learn something from him. What a kind soul.
Steve would have taken pleasure in the fact that I could walk to my marathon today. It was so easy, hastle free and that is what Steve wanted for everyone. He was such a thoughtful man. As some of you know, last Sunday I was franticly looking for a marathon to run because the one I had intended to run had turned into only a half. I feel like Steve may have had something to do with this logistical dream of a marathon. I am now writing my blog, after a jacuzzi and sitting by the fireplace at the spa. Thank you Steve. However it wasn’t all sunshine infact it was freezing. I know I live in Santa Monica but when the race started it was in the low 40’s and as you may know I don’t do well in the cold. I was all bundled up, no one recogonized me. At mile 3 I actually stopped to get coffee to warm up, because you can do that when you are running 50 billion marathons in a year (and running them slowly). It was a real struggle to finish today and motivate myself to finish because of the cold, but we did it!
Thank you all for your support , this journey has been nothing short of AMAZING. I saw so many friends on the course today, made new friends and ended up having a really fun day, for a beautiful man, and a cause near and dear to my heart.
All my best wishes to everyone for a Happy, HEALTHY, holiday season. See you Wednesday for marathon #40. Yes, Wednesday. We have an extra marathon this week. But it’s ok because… We got this.
Julie xo

Fighting for our lives: Marathon #38 is for Kevin Peters and for a nation in need of healing.

My heart is broken, my eyes are weary and in less than an hour I will run 26.2 miles for a country in mourning a nation in need. A nation in serious need of love and hope. While nothing can fill the space of the crisis that has fallen upon us, all of us can extend a hand to those in need to remind them that we are here. Let’s come together and heal the broken hearts. We need to end this and it all comes down to love: “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”- L. Buscaglia. This is exactly what the world needs more of in order to heal and stop these senseless tragedies. The craziness in this world makes me so sad. Each and every day there are people who are struggling to stay alive and then someone thinks it is ok to take the lives of so many. This brings me to a man who is so strong and fighting with every breath to beat pancreatic cancer. Kevin is a very accomplished distance runner and helped found the Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, MN. He has been battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer for over a year now. Here’s a great article about him http://www.superiortelegram.com/event/article/id/67229/ “He was a hard-core member of America’s first running boom in the 1970s and ’80s, racing nearly every weekend during the summer. He finished Grandma’s Marathon seven times; had a marathon best of 2 hours, 36 minutes in Miami in 1985 and ran a Las Vegas half marathon in 1:10 at age 40 in 1999; and completed the Edmund Fitzgerald 100K race of 62.1 miles. “ If I was doing dedications at the time I ran Grandma’s this past June, I surely would have ran that one for him. So I will run for him today. He’s run a few 5Ks since his diagnosis, but it’s been very tough for him. There is only one way Kevin looks at this: He wants to live and he’s going to do whatever he can to keep going and so am I. Lynn Lascola I run today for your cousin Kevin Peters, to show our Nation that there are amazing, strong people out there. Fighting with everything they have to make things right. We need more people like Kevin Peters, it’s time to step up and bring out your best, for Kevin, for Connecticut and for the hope and love for the world and for this awful disease that is pancreatic cancer.

Kevin and his daughter Susan. She ran her first marathon at Grandmas this past June, and he was cheering her on the whole way. They are an amazing pair. xo

“Thus I urge you to go on to your greatness if you believe it is in you. Think deeply and separate what you wish from what you are prepared to do.” Percy Wells Cerutty (Famous running coach) Let’s put one foot in front of the other and all find the strength and the love to carry on. Here are some lyrics to a song that I have listened to about 50 times in the past 12 hours called Carry On, and I Will listen as I run today for Kevin and for Connecticut and all the little angels that will be with me today carrying me to the finish line. We are shining stars We are invincible We are who we are On our darkest day When we’re miles away So we’ll come We will find our way home May your past be the sound Of your feet upon the ground Carry on
Today at 9:30 is a World Peace Run accross the USA. Bring your family friends, neighbors, etc out for a an hour of run / walk. No organizers or sponsors (I will be at about mile 7 at that time) – just a peaceful protest against violence. Let’s be the change we wish to see in the world. We got this!

#38: For Kevin Peters and the angels of Sandy Hook elementary xoxo


Honolulu Marathon 37: Running in heaven?

Well as life would have it, my trip to Hawaii did not go as I had hoped. We all know life is not perfect, and I am not about to pretend that it is. Not even in Honolulu. I apologize in advance for my blog, because instead of my usual happy, amazing and beautiful blogs, this one has a bit of a sharp edge. I didn’t think it was possible to be in hell in paradise, but guess what? It is. Personal relationship problems got the best of me on marathon day. My fiancé decided to have an argument race morning. Don’t worry, I cleared it with David before posting because everyone loves David, yes even me. Upon waking, he had been holding back some frustrations and decided to tell me about them as soon as I woke up at 4am. I sat on the floor crying, trying to put my happy quote and dedication post on facebook. It was awful. We set out to the start of the race and there were some beautiful fireworks and I tried to make the best out of it. My issue with David is a bit personal so I won’t go into too much detail. However, upon arriving at our hotel and finding out our room had separate beds and no other rooms available did not help things, if you know what I mean. The race starts and it’s time to run, but I didn’t want to. All I could do was walk. I wasn’t smiling because my enthusiasm and spirit was on the floor. David wanted to video me, but I didn’t want to be filmed. In fact even when I saw the race photographers I hid my bib number because I didn’t want any pictures taken. This is so not like me. I figured that maybe by mile 18 I would be smiling again. Not so much. I did however see the Walking Diva herself, Yolanda Holder. She broke her Guinness World record of 107 marathons that day. Amazing. Here is her post from Hawaii Today. Congratulations Yolanda. You are my hero. She understood what I was dealing with and told me it was normal. Imagine for Yolanda 2 marathons a week, sometimes 3 even 4 and how hard that can be on all aspects of life. She is Amazing!

Breaking the world record. The Walking Diva- Yolanda Holder!!! 😀

http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/20307047/yolanda-holder-breaks-world-record-at-honolulu-marathon I finally broke into another smile at mile 23. It took me 10 minutes to find someone who spoke English who would take a picture of me and text it to me, but I got my picture with the 37K sign and that made me happy. I don’t have very many opportunities to run marathons with Kilometers, so I had to seize the moment. 37K, 37th marathons get it?

Yay 37!!!!

By the way, I have never seen so many people taking pictures in a marathon. The marathon is sponsored by JAL airlines. So with New York being cancelled it turned out to be the second largest marathon in the United States this year. At miles 4 and 5 up Diamond Head, it was a bit frustrating because even if I wanted to run, I couldn’t. It was a gridlock. The marathon is 50% Japanese. They were taking pictures of everything, every sign, the pretzels, the water stops, the water signs, the views, the bathrooms, you name it and they were taking a picture. The winner of the marathon, Kipsang received cheers and applause from competitors still tackling the marathon. They stopped and took pictures of Kipsang with their computers and smart phones. However, they were not taking a picture of me, cause I wasn’t smiling, but that’s ok.

Kipsang made a push at the 22nd mile and pulled away to win Sunday’s Honolulu Marathon in 2 hours, 12 minutes, 31 seconds. First winner with a negative split in this race. Wow!

As for me, well David killed the Marathon Goddess lol, or at least my spirit for the time being. I kept thinking about Curt, the beautiful man I dedicated my run to. I played rocknroll roll music for us, whenever I thought about Curt I smiled but I think Curt understood what I was going through and most likely would have kicked David’s butt if he knew David made me cry. Curt was very protective of his family, so I totally felt like he had my back. I know he did. Thank you Curt. We Rocked it! For my dedication to Curt please see the blog titled: https://marathongoddess.com/2012/12/number-37-running-in-heaven-with-curt-wada/ It ended up being a beautiful day. Sometimes in my marathons, a dark thought may come up for a split second about giving up and walking off the course, that happened to me at about mile 13, and I could have sworn I heard a loud voice yelling NO WAY. I feel like that was Curt. I kept going. Walking, running and just moving forward and before I knew it I was at mile 26 and ready to finish. I finished with a smile, but inside I was still a little sad. So I threw David in the ocean. lol

David being thrown in the ocean, I don’t think he minds.

I was grateful to KITV for helping me spread awareness for my campaign, of course I couldn’t think and forget to mention my website. I blame David. lol. Actually KITV did a great job with my story and mentioned my website and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. I am very grateful to them. What an honor. http://ca.news.yahoo.com/video/honolulu-marathon-impacts-local-economy-034141768.html Here is a major hero: Congratulations to 71 year old Myeloma Patient Don Wright for reaching his goal of Running a marathon in all 50 states, and a link to his press release: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20121210005415/en/Tackle-Cancer-Foundation-Congratulates-71-Year-Old-Myeloma-Patient

Don Wright is a Rockstar

Bart Yasso, chief running officer of Runners World Magazine, made a great point, when running marathons in Hawaii, no matter how bad your marathon went, when you are finished you are in Paradise, so it can’t be that bad and it really wasn’t. I know we will find the silver lining through all of this. I may find it in my glass of wine that I am drinking. It is really ok. David and I sort of made up and are working on things. We ended up having a nice day on Monday before we left, we went down to Waikiki beach and enjoyed the last bit of paradise and made the best out of it. This journey is not about me and sometimes life will hit me hard with a rude awakening. Life is short so please enjoy it. Enjoy your friends, your family and keep the love alive, that is all that matters. Part of my mission has always been to spread the message of getting out there and living your life, and becoming the person you were meant to be. With pancreatic cancer looming and being the 4th leading cause of cancer death and estimated to go up to the 2nd in the US, in addition to living life, my mission is to save lives. Save lives, so that we may go on to living and loving longer. I am here for people like my father, for Curt, for so many others and their families affected and some so young, like Curt. He was only 48. There is no reason why this man should have died so young. This is not acceptable, and I am here to change that. I will do everything in my power, everything, while still managing to have some fun along the way. Aloha ‘oe, a hui hou aku. (until we meet again) We got this! Aloha!!!!

Superman! Funny!

Have you ever seen anyone so excited at a marathon expo? It’s like my first one. It never gets old. — at Hawaii Convention Center Honolulu Festival.

Aloha ‘oe, a hui hou aku. We got this! Aloha!!!!


Number 37: Running in Heaven with Curt Wada

Curt’s sister Julia contacted me a few weeks ago and I am so glad she did. I learned about this beautiful man, her brother Curtis Wada. Curt passed away from pancreatic cancer on Jan. 7, 2009. He lost his battle only 2 1/2 weeks after diagnosis. Two and a half weeks??!! Curtis was 48. Their family is still grieving at the loss of such a beautiful son, brother and amazing soul. Julia now works at the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Thank you Julia.
Julia had an awesome relationship with her brother, she says he was the best big brother ever! He was a very protective , always there for his sisters and was very close to Julia’s son. He would babysit all the time and loved spoiling his nephew. I can tell from his pictures and the love on his dedication page what a sweet heart he has. He taught his nephew how to ride a bike & play the drums!
Curt was the Stage Manager at House of Blues in Anaheim, CA. Music was his passion and he definitely instilled this into his nephew. In looking further into his dedication page I feel like I knew him. His love for rock n roll, his long hair, and that whole era. I was a part of that, and I really feel like I knew him. I noticed he drove this yellow Tower Records van. Who remembers Tower Records? I sure do. I see his friends referencing Curt as the Big Wada 🙂 I love that! What a fun guy!
Curt was diagnosed with PC on Dec. 16, 2008. His PC was not treatable, but he was able to get one round of chemo just for palliative care. The pain was intense. The pain was draining. Through the pain, he still managed to smile for his nephew when he came to visit. On Jan. 7, 2009, Curt passed peacefully with his family by his side. His last words to his sister were “don’t worry, I’m ok…..and I hope they find a cure for this disease in his nephew’s lifetime.” (sigh) We are on our way Curt!
Curt isn’t from Hawaii, but loved visiting the islands. He would talk about Hawaii being the real paradise. He was not the beach type, but still managed to enjoy the beauty of the islands. Hawaii sure is the real paradise, and I am so grateful to be honoring Curt for the Honolulu marathon. I know he will be smiling down on me today as I run my heart out. Heck Curt and I are going to rock out today on this course. I will be playing rock n roll for him, for the whole 26.2 . I see he loved Alice in Chains. Ok Curt I have already downloaded it and we are ready to rock!
Thank you Julia to you and your family for letting me remember Curt in this way. I am so inspired and ready to run with his beautiful spirit by my side. Marathon #37 will be like running in heaven. Curt and I totally got this. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. One day, one day soon….we will be able to say “we got this” in reference to pancreatic cancer. I believe we already do. We are getting there my dear Julia and I will never stop running, never stop fighting until we have a cure.
Sending love from Paradise. We got this.

This is Julia’s family at PurpleStride Los Angeles walking in honor of her brother

Cancer Sucks!


Marathon #36 is in honor of Doug Gurley xo

Dear Sheri Burton, I will run today’s marathon in your father’s name, Doug Gurley. From what I gather, your father was an Amazing man, husband, father and grandfather. Doug was from Cincinnati, he had never been sick a day in his life. He died from Pancreatic Cancer at the age of 68. He spent his life giving to the unfortunate and to many homeless animals. He was swimmer, flew small planes, started his own business at the age 20. What an angel. I understand he and your mother married at 16 and made it 52.years. Wow. That is beautiful and although I love the #52 I would have added at least another 3o years to that 52. Your parents sound very special and so are you. I can feel the enormous amount of love you have for your father and I feel your pain, I know how hard it can be. I ran this marathon 2 years ago for my father, (with my father) and it changed my life.
Sheri you mentioned you would be be so proud and honored if I would run across the finish line with his name, however I am the one that is honored. I believe you also had asked what you can do. Thank you for asking and what we can all do to help stop this senseless disease from affecting so many beautiful people like your father is keep spreading the awareness. Please tell people to go to pancan.org/takeaction and let’s make a difference. Also please mention to your friends, family and anyone you think can help, and let them know that all donations made here on my website go directly to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, I don’t touch a penny of it. We need all the help we can get. Also, simply sharing and liking my page is much appreciated. You never know who you might touch. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Sheri, thank you for sharing a little bit about your wonderful father and letting me honor him in this way. Also thank you for telling me that he is looking down on me saying “You go girl, fight this and someday you will help find a cure.” I know he was a fighter too.
Sending all my best wishes to you, your family and all those affected by this terrible disease. Together we can Know It. Fight It and End it!!
We got this