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Marathon #46: 3 Hearts for 3 Loves ♥ ♥ ♥

I run today in honor of Team Hope. On my team today we have 3 very special people in this dedication, well actually 4, at the 11th hour I just got another request. So in honor of these people and the thousands of others who are affected daily with pc, this one is for you. Today is a little extra special as I will have my beautiful friend, Roberta Luna, a pancreatic cancer SURVIVOR run across the finish line with me. Like me Roberta lost her father to pc, but not only that, her uncle and her grandmother. At the time she did not understand the full impact this disease would have, until now. Below is just a small part of Roberta’s amazing story I found online. What an inspriation she is. For Roberta and anyone, losing three members of her family to pancreatic cancer was mind blowing. How could this be? What about her sons? What could this mean to them? She had no answers; only unanswerable questions. Then the unthinkable, Roberta developed vague symptoms herself, and she knew. The doctors told her she was lucky: the tumor was small and it was caught early and If she started treatment immediately she would have a better chance than most. She started chemotherapy immediately, and also underwent radiation for a short period of time. Because of her early diagnosis, the support of her family and those closest to her, and the grace of God, she is still here today to tell her story and run across the finish line with me. But the disease still plays a prominent role in her life: her mom was diagnosed in 2005. Together, we continue to fight. Roberta joined the Orange County Affiliate and has the unique position to be on both sides of the fence, as both a caretaker and a survivor. Through her experiences, she now bring hope to those who have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, survivors, as well as the precious caretakers. She wants to make a difference so that one day, no one ever has to hear the words go home and put your house in order again.-Roberta Luna Today as we run across the finish line together this will be symbolic of ending pancreatic cancer once and for all. Love you girl. xox
Beautiful

Beautiful

                 
Love

Love

                For Noel and Kerry: You can just feel the love radiating from this picture?: Screen Shot 2013-02-02 at 5.37.54 PM Kerry’s husband Noel was diagnosed April 2011 at 54 years of age with Pancreatic Cancer. I quote the following from Kerry’s story about her beautiful husband Noel: They had booked a family holiday to California, taking the kids to Disney and renew their wedding vows for their 10th wedding anniversary on a beach in Ventura CA. Not far from Huntington Beach where I am running today. Look at these beautiful children: Screen Shot 2013-02-02 at 5.36.11 PM The doctors had given Noel a life expectancy of 6 months. They were not offered any other form of support or information. Noel’s had two daughters from a previous marriage. Upon the news Noel & Kerry stood outside the hospital just clinging to each other and crying. How could it be? How could she be losing the love of her life? There wasn’t a damn thing either of them or anyone else could do. Her two kids were losing their daddy and his older 3 theirs too, life can be so cruel. They had tried in vain to get travel insurance for Noel so they could bring their trip to the USA forward but it wasn’t to be. July 2nd they took their children to Euro Disney for what would be the last family holiday they would ever have. They decided that renewing our wedding vows was so important even more so now that they planned their wedding renewal August 18th exactly 10 years to the day they originally took our vows to each other. Noel was so sick he fought so hard. Every day he asked about how many days until our renewal. August 17th, Noel was released from hospital 24 hours before they walked down the aisle and pledged their love all over again, till death do us part. There weren’t too many dry eyes in the church that day!
Screen Shot 2013-02-02 at 8.37.49 PM
One of Noels daughters announced she was pregnant. Noel was so thrilled but also so sad he knew he wouldn’t be around to see the birth of his first grandchild. Kerry knew Noel didn’t have much longer. How do you say goodbye to someone that is you’re everything? How can you even think about life without them? She had to tell her children that the angels were coming for daddy, he was tired. Seeing her babies climb on to the bed, kissing their daddy telling them how much they loved him tore her to pieces an image that she will never forget. She knew, it was time and she had to let her soul mate go. But she knew she would see him again, and that he will be waiting for her.
Noel was diagnosed Good Friday 2011 and Good Friday 2012 Harry Alan Noel Donnell came into the world looking so much like his granddad. A special time for sure but with so many emotions attached to it. After Noel passed, Kerrry threw herself into raising awareness & fundraising as much as she possibly could. At their renewal there were donations made in lieu of gifts which PCUK received £1200. In total £10,261.13 has been raised which is amazing. families in support of pancreatic cancer. Kerry I am so sorry for your loss of your soulmate. I do just want to say that I am so happy that the time you shared together was so beautiful, so full of love and so much light. That is the love we all dream of, but never to have to go through the pain that you did, so I will do all I can to put an end to it. Sending you big hugs as I imagine Noels spirit running with me today. All my best and Happy birthday to you. Hope it was wonderul. xo Julie For Greg Willard Screen Shot 2013-02-02 at 6.25.34 PM   Since he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in June 2012, Greg Willard has valiantly fought the disease with the support of his wife of 22 years, Laurie, and their children Bryce, Shelby and Weston, as well as many other family members and friends. He has also received tremendous support from his colleagues in the National Basketball Association (NBA), where he has worked as a highly regarded referee for 24 NBA seasons. Greg is a true role model. I met him at the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network gala in October, where he was being honored. He said to me “I’ll see you at the finish line!” Today Greg just may be out there volunteering. He and his family resides in Huntington Beach. That would be so awesome to see Greg out there today. Yet another symbol of upon finishing this marathon we are going to kick pancreatic cancer in the butt and finish it once and for all! Love to you and your family Greg. Keep fighting and never ever give up hope. xo-Julie One more, to make it 4 ♥♥♥♥: At the 11th hour last night I found an email from someone who contacted me after my write up in the Miami Herald last weekend. Mitch, A runner reaching out to me and thanking me,who has been impacted by this horrible cancer. He says, “I am not near 52 marathons in 52 weeks but I am on my own journey in running being pushed by thoughts of my dad Please keep him in mind during one of your strides in the future and please keep up the inspirations you give to everyone.” Dr. Robert Mitchell you are in my heart today, and I will imagine you as we run together to end this awful disease. And then there were 4 and thousands more. We are in this together, putting and end to pancreatic cancer one marathon at a time. We got this ♥♥♥♥  
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Miami Soul- #45 A soul run for Maureen Adlard and others. We are a team,Team Hope!!!

As I close in on my journey I am getting more emails every day of people in someway affected by pancreatic cancer. It breaks my heart, but I am happy to be able to run in memory of a loved one, spread awareness about a severely underfunded disease that has been ignored for much too long. I find that running in someones name puts a name to the disease making 
it more real to people who read about it. That in and of itself is a
 huge benefit to bringing awareness of this horrible disease. The reality is that there is not enough marathons for the number of people affected by pc, but for these marathons it’s more about 
the emotions that they bring up in people who hear about them. Also,
when I learn about the person I am running for it gives me strength,
and motivation to finish for them. I imagine their spirit helping me
 along. I have 4 special people I am running for today: Maureen Adlard For Maureen: (written by her children) Even growing up in the depression era, and suffering polio as a youngster, she was a vibrant young lady who loved helping others, which, in large part, led to her becoming an elementary school teacher. She was a wonderful wife and mother of 3. On her 46th birthday, while undergoing gallbladder surgery, she was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. Despite being a non-smoker and drinker, she had grown up in a household where both parents smoked heavily, which is a huge contributing factor in pancreatic cancer in the next generation, as well as lung cancer and other smoking related diseases, despite the kids not smoking themselves. She underwent full chemo and radiation, but despite the Cross Cancer Institute’s best efforts, and the prayers of her family and friends, she passed away on November 13, just two months after being diagnosed. She was a beloved teacher, and they have erected a permanent plaque in her honor at Dalton Elementary. More than that, her memory lives on with her children and friends, who are committed to doing something about this terrible disease for Maureen’s grandchildren, who she never got to meet, and for the children and grandchildren of everyone else affected. Her son Dave goes on to say “sometimes bad things happen to good people, and it is the duty of the ones left behind to make something good come of it and of the sacrifice of Maureen and the tens of thousands like her”. Screen Shot 2013-01-26 at 7.13.49 PM David, Craig and Suzanne I send my love to you today, running in memory of your beautiful mother and creating hope and turning something so negative into a huge positive change. We got this. xoxox Julie Running mile 1 for my brother in arms, Benjamin Timoner’s father. Benjamin is currently walking across the country,for the second time, to raise money for pc in honor of his father. Yes you heard that right. His father Bert passed away from pc in 1974 at the young age of 41 and is buried here in Miami 🙁 Benjamin, Mile 1 is for your Dad. I am pretty sure he was your number 1 fan, just like my dad. All the best to you and wish you much success in your journey accross America. We got this! Bert Timoner- Mile 1 I received an email from Simon about his father Dave last week and told me about this incredible story form an inspiring man who is a runner at heart. He has run 66 marathons and 120+ half marathons over the years. He and his dad completed The Beechy Head marathon in October last year his dad beat him by 35mins so clearly his competitive spirit is still strong even though he is currently fighting pc. He continually stressed that for a marathon you shouldn’t think of half way as 13 miles. The hard work and the half way point he always assured him that it started around 20 miles – that’s where the training really began to pay off – how right he was. Dave Wickham, miles 20-26.2 are for you. Keep on believing, never loose hope. I will run for you too. For more on the official story, here is the link: http://www.pancreaticcancer.org.uk/information-and-support/real-life-stories/inoperable/dave#.UPx5N0IKox4.mailto and their giving link. http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/simonwickham. Such an incredible will. Dave Wickham 20-26 Just yesterday I got a last minute beautiful email, with a donation and was asked “just look up and smile for Edie at some point in my run” his mom who passed away just this past March. Howard G. It would be an honor and thank you for your donation. We are going to fix this for your Dave, for Edie, for Benjamin’s Dad, for Maureen and so many others including my Dad. We cant stop now. With your help we can make a difference and we are. Please join in to Know it. Fight it and End it. Together we can, together we can create miracles. If I can run 45 marathons in 45 weeks, we can do anything! We are Team Hope and We got this. All my best wishes. See you at the finish line. xoxo Julie
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#44: A Birthday gift and a Christmas wish for Keith Knapp and Donna Thompson

Knapp44
I was contacted this week by a beautiful facebook friend. We have something in common… unfortunately it is that both of our fathers passed away from pancreatic cancer. 🙁 She asked if I could dedicate some of my race to her Dad. His birthday was last week, January 15th he would have been 67 years old, way too young. She misses him terribly. I know the feeling. So although I don’t know much about her father, I do know that he was immensely loved by his daughter. I will run my race #44 in honor of Keith and for his family. I will keep up this strength and dedication to this fight as long as I live. It has become my lifes mission to bring awarenesss to a disease that has been ignored for far too long. We just can’t stop, every dollar counts and thank you so much Mignon for your generous donation. Also, every bit of awareness that we create makes a difference in getting people to understand that we can’t ignore this any longer. I will run in honor of a man who was so loved by his family and for his birthday my gift is raising hope for everyone affected from pancreatic cancer. We are in this together and together we will raise enough hope, awareness and money to end it once and for all. Sending hope and love to your family today and every day. God bless. My dear friend forever Jennifer Thompson reached out to me a few weeks ago because her beautiful mother in law Donna Thompson passed away the day after Christmas after losing a long battle with diabetes on December 26, 2012. All though I am running to raise awareness for pancreatic cancer ,these two people died needlessly.Donna was a devoted wife, loving mother, giving grandmother, loyal parishioner and friend. Donna was loved by many and will be missed. I love Jen and her family with all my heart. A special Mile 26 is for you Donna xo We will continue to search for a cure for pancreatic cancer, for all cancers and for all diseases, something has to be done. I am hoping that this campaign can inspire, create and help send that message of action. So with that, I am off to run 26.2 miles against a beast of a disease and for others too. Knowing that we are not alone in the fight, we must come together and end it once and for all. Sending all my best wishes and so much love to the family of Keith Knapp and Donna Thompson, I will see you in 26.2 . We got this! xo      
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A dream is a wish your heart makes: This dream is for you: Carolyn Manning #43

Carolyn loved Disneyworld :)

Carolyn loved Disneyworld 🙂

In the beginning of my journey I met Christine. I remember her telling me about her Mom and how she loved Florida, Carolyn actually lived in Florida and loved Disney World. Above is her mother Carolyn and her two grandchildren Colleen and John, shortly before she was diagnosed with PC in 2001. She was just 61 when diagnosed in Sept 2001. Carolyn loved spending time with her grandchildren, walking the beach, volunteering, traveling, and cooking. She was the best cook… Made the most incredible lasagna, chocolate chip cookies, and baked stuffed shrimp. Yum! She was a great listener, and always saw the good in everyone. How inspiring is that? When I hear about people like Carolyn, it just makes my heart sing but yet I cry that another beautiful soul was taken away from us much too soon. Christine says her optimism was contagious. She believed she would beat this beast. She knew that time was such a gift….they appreciated every minute. Carolyn lived til May 2005, and when I say lived you know she did. She had a heart of gold, and a soul of an angel. Now she is a beautiful angel and can we all please learn from this beautiful woman? To treasure time, to always see the good in everyone and be optimistic. You can see it in her smile, and that is what the world needs more of. Today I will run for Carolyn and remember what a happy spirit she was and hope that I can have at least a sparkle of what she had within me to shine all the way to the finish line today. Carolyn Manning, this one is for you, as I run through the magical world that is Disney, I will remember a woman who’s optimistic,loving, inspiring spirit shined as bright as the fireworks over the Magic Kingdom’s castle. The fact that I am running at the happiest place on earth is very fitting for this very happy, positive woman. Thank you Cristine for allowing me to honor your mother today and remember her while I run. You better believe I will be smiling, singing and maybe even dancing the streets of Disney for Carolyn. Remembering a beautiful woman and working my but off to beat this darn disease that took her way too soon. With all my best wishes and love- Julie xoxo
Carolyn
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A special mile, for a special man. Mile 6 for Victor Potvin.

I had a special request this week from Michele, a volunteer with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network to run mile 6 of today’s race for her father Victor Potvin.
He was her biggest cheerleader. Just like my Dad. How could I resist? Michele mentioned 6 has a lot of meaning for her family Her birthday is 6/6, her son was born on the 6th, her father died on the 6th, and 6 has always been her lucky number. So being in that tomorrow is the 6th, we dedicate mile 6 to a very special man.
Victor passed away on January 6th, 2007 after a 6 month battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 68, in the first few years of retirement and loving life. He and his wife had been married for 48 years, and had just bought his dream home in FL for the winters, so he could play golf year round.
He was never sick a day in his life, so when he was diagnosed with pc, it was completely out of the blue. When he passed away, Michele was pregnant with her son Logan, who was to be his first grandchild.
Sooo Cute :)

Sooo Cute 🙂

Victor was the coach on Michele’s basketball team, played hoops in the driveway with her and her sister and endured many rounds of tennis helping her perfect the sport in high school, though she is not sure he was ever a fan of the sport 🙂 . What a guy! He always gave everyone a chance – he believed in the good in most people.
After he died, Michele’s sister and mother got so many cards from people they had never met, or not heard from in years with wonderful stories about their memories of her father. He is missed dearly by all every day. It’s in his memory that she volunteers with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
Purple Power.  Go Michele!

Purple Power. Go Michele! Thank you !!! 🙂

Michele- Mile 6, is for all of you. You, Your Dad, your mother and your sister. I will smile and remember a man who saw the good in everyone he met, with a heart of gold and let him be a shining light of an example for all of us to do the same. What an honor. By the way, I was told that in numerology, this is a number 6 year. It can be the best of years if we are willing to be responsible for our actions. Let’s express integrity in everything we do, like Victor did. 🙂
Also, Thank you for contacting me in our quest to put an end to pancreatic cancer once and for all.
All the best. We got this and we did it!!!!
Mile 6
With love,
Julie
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Marathon #42- For Nancy Kramer: What can I say… She did it her way!

I met Nancy’s amazing son Mark Kramer, right after I lost my Dad through a mutual friend’s Facebook post. Then I finally got to meet him in real time at the Missoula Marathon, my marathon #14.
Finally, 2 years later we meet :)

Finally, 2 years later we meet 🙂

Mark told me about how he lost his mother to the ugly beast we call Pancreatic Cancer. It was my first introduction to someone else affected by pancreatic cancer, until then I really had no idea what we were dealing with and what lied ahead. As I sit here on the plane to Mississippi to run marathon #42, I listen to Frank Sinatra sing “I Did it My Way” which was the song Mark describes his mother in her eulogy. Funny thing, I always have thought of my Dad when I heard that song. Nancy: She lived a life, that was full. She travelled each and every highway And more, much more than this, She did it her way.
[youtube 6E2hYDIFDIU]
A graduate of the University of Illinois, a devoted wife, mother of 3, a teacher, a woman of the world who loved to travel. (Just to name a few) It sounds like she had the strength that could move mountains and a love that made a house a home and that is what Nancy was all about LOVE. She got it right. Just look at the love she gave to her family and her 6 beautiful grandchildren. So beautiful.
Beautiful xo

Beautiful xo

Mark describes his mother as super woman and as I read more I would tend to agree. For example as if the above wasn’t enough, Nancy battled breast cancer and while going through treatment, she never missed a day of work. She also entered into a local 5k race and won first in her age group. Wow! When she was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer and given a very short time to live she forged on for 3 more years battling it with dignity, bravery and love. Her family was always a priority and she still made time to really LIVE her life, she did it her way while loving everyone up along the way. It doesn’t get much better then that. I could go on and on about this amazing woman, but then I would miss my marathon. Seriously, this post does not do her justice. However, over the next several hours I will remember and honor a woman after my own heart. She raised a beautiful family, lived her life to the fullest! She faced it all and she stood all and did it her way! Sending love to you Mark and your beautiful family. May your mother’s beautiful spirit of love continue to shine on you all the days of your life. What a blessing she is and always will be. Mickie Thank you for letting me honor her in this way and I am going to love it up for the next 26.2 miles in honor of your mother. We got this! xo Julie      
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#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.
Mile22
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
Love,
Julie
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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!
http://www.tbabeverly.org/2012/08/an-article-in-honor-of-kiva-skolnick-zl/
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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.
Love,
Julie xo
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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!
Love,
Julie

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