Race Week: Runners in Their Own Words [Part 3 of 4]

Julie Weiss is running 52 marathons in 52 weeks. Toby Stime lost 66 pounds from running this year. Here are their stories and why they are participating in the Half Moon Bay International Marathon this weekend.

Half Moon Bay is currently in "Race Week” with only three more days to go before the Half Moon Bay International Marathon welcomes 1,000 runners from 35 states and six countries, set to run 26.2 miles starting from Pillar Point Harbor along the Pacific coastline.

For the next few days leading up to race day on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012, Half Moon Bay Patch will feature in a four-part series stories in the runner’s own words about why they are participating in the race. Some of their stories are quite emotional and insightful and will inspire you and maybe even bring tears to your eyes.

Stories by Kalie Crose and James Holt were featured in Part 1 on Tuesday. Yesterday, we had stories by Wes McGaugh and Sarah Pollock in Part 2 of the series. Here are Part 3’s stories:

Julie Weiss, age 42

I am running the Half Moon Bay Marathon and all of my marathons for my father and my love for life and all those affected from pancreatic cancer.

My father was my greatest fan and most challenging critic. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October of 2010, and I lost him only a month later. His passing was a devastating experience for me, and I decided to do something to help change the world.

I knew that I needed to spread the message and that my effort should be centered on my passion for running.

When my father was sick he told me about the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. I am so glad he did. After his diagnoses, I looked more deeply into the mysterious illness that had taken my father. I did not like what I found. Pancreatic Cancer is the 10th most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States but is the fourth leading cause of cancer death.

This year, over 43,000 people will be diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer in the United States, and approximately 37,000 will die. This grim survival rate is one of the few that has changed little over the past 40 years.

My goal is to raise $1,000,000 to support the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Currently I have raised over $105,000.

To meet my goal, I will be dedicating a whole year in which I will run a marathon a week in a different city. That’s 52 marathons in 52 weeks, and the first one started in Boston. The Half Moon Bay Marathon will be #23 of 52. I want to raise awareness and funds to crack the shell of this terrible disease.

I hope people can help me fulfill my commitment to inspiring other runners and finding a cure for this awful disease.

More information can be found on www.marathongoddess.com.

Toby Stime, age 42

The Half Moon Bay International Marathon will be my first marathon, and I’m running it with Team Relentless, which is made up of four guys: Bill Craft, 50, Rob Harper, 50, Dave Pruitt, 52, and myself. We are all parents with kids at Modesto Christian School. We've all known each other for years, through school events, football, and coaching together.

Each of us was in a different "fitness state" but none of us in great shape and none of us were really "runners."

In December last year, Bill mentioned on his Facebook that he needed to lose some weight. We threw ideas around until someone suggested we should run a marathon. Of course, none of us had ever come even close, but Rob, Bill and I started a couch-to-5k program on Dec. 10, 2011 with the lofty goal of participating in the Half Moon Bay International Marathon in September 2012.

At the time, I weighed 295 and hadn't run more than 10 steps in 10 years.

We met in the evenings and ran along the canal banks behind the school in the cold. We used endomondo and an interval timer to track our progress.

Bill is our mastermind, drawing up our training in three phases (the 5k, strength and speed training and then the actual ramp-up to marathon).

At first, it hurt. Every day. But not showing up meant letting friends down, and none of us wanted to do that, so we kept it up.

Over the weeks, through our Facebook posts and word of mouth, word got out, and the others joined us, some stayed, and some have stopped coming, but we've settled into a core group now.

By March 1, 2011, I was down to 255 pounds, my blood pressure, which had been sky high when we started, was controlled and as of today, I'm at 229 pounds. I've weaned off the medication completely.

We ran our first 5k together on March 18 (Modesto Marathon) and all of us finished well (Bill and I in 31 minutes, Rob, Dave, Jerry and Brent a little faster. Rob took 3rd in his age group 45-49).

In April, we ran the Survivor Mud Run in Tracy, Calif., (most of us, anyway since I was nursing a calf injury) and in July we ran the Wharf to Wharf in Santa Cruz.

The training is challenging, and the thing we come back to over and over is that it's the commitment to each other that keeps us coming out. No matter what pace or time of day we run, there is always someone to meet us and run with us. There's support during injuries and hard days, we keep each other in prayer and talk about anything and everything along the trails. We were all friends or acquaintances before, but even in this short a time, we are now more like brothers.

We aren't on any special diets. We’ve just taken control of what we eat and move a lot more often than we used to.

I think each of us has had breakthrough moments, personal goals. Rob winning the medal in the 5k, Bill has lost 20 or more pounds and together, he and I went from 15-minute miles to 9-minute miles in just three months. We've had injuries but the team, offers prayers, support, and brotherhood - and the results speak for themselves.


Race Weekend Events

Saturday, September 22, 2012

World renowned athlete, author and philanthropist, Dean Karnazes (http://deankarnazes.com) returns to the location that launched his illustrious running career, Half Moon Bay, When Dean was 30 years old and celebrating his birthday, he set out in the middle of the night from downtown San Francisco to run "30 miles on my 30th birthday", and starting in the City he ran all night and ended up at -- the 7-11 in downtown Half Moon Bay (See page 63 of his book Ultramarathon Man - Confessions of an all Night Runner http://www.amazon.com/Ultramarathon-Man-Confessions-All-Night-Runner/dp/1585422789). Dean is the special guest athlete at the 2012 HMBIM. 

Saturday schedule: 

12:00 Dean Karnazes will speak at the Shoppes at Harbor Village in Pillar Point Harbor at the Empowered Fitness location 

12:30-2:00 Dean will be on hand to sign his books and take photos 

12:45 Yolanda Holder, described above, will speak at the same location

1:15-2:00 Yolanda will be on hand to sign his books and take photos

2:00 - Pillar Point Harbor, near the HMB Kayak Company, Dean will lead a 4-mile fun run, ending up at the 7-11 in Half Moon Bay for a photo opportunity! 

5:00 The HMBIM Pasta Dinner, catered by local Italian Favorite Mezza Luna, will be held at the Ted Adcock Community Center in downtown HMB. The dinner will be include talks by Dean Karnazes and Yolanda Holder, and feature musical entertainment by "Chinese Melodrama"  (full details at http://halfmoonbayim.org/pasta). 

Sunday, September 23, 2012 

Four events are planned for race day including a full and half marathon distance, a 10k and a Free 5K fun run. The Full and Half distances are run on a mixture of paved coastal trails, local streets and some hard-packed dirt trails, while the 10k and 5k is entirely on paved trails. The trail portions of the course offer some of the most spectacular vistas of the entire course.

The 2nd running of the HMB International Marathon will start with the Half Marathon event at 7:00 a.m., the 10K at 7:15 a.m., the FREE 5k at 7:30 a.m. and the Full Marathon at 7:45 a.m. The start and finish of the race is at Pillar Point Harbor adjacent to the HMB Kayak Company. The Full Marathon men's and women's champions will receive a $500 cash prize, donated by Gold Partner GoPro, Inc., to be presented at the awards ceremony at 2:00 p.m. 

After Party to follow at the Mavericks Event Center, catered by the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company, with a special MARATHON Beer, from 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. (http://halfmoonbayim.org/afterparty). 

All of the above events are open to the public. Marathon organizers still need volunteers at http://halfmoonbayim.org/volunteer — chance to win one of several prizes, get a free shirt, and be a part of the amazing community event.

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