Women of Maine: Julie Marchese

Women of Maine: Julie Marchese

“Achieving success and personal glory in athletics has less to do with wins and losses than it does with learning how to prepare yourself so that at the end of the day, whether on the track or in the office, you know that there was nothing more you could have done to reach your ultimate goal."

- Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Olympian

Whether aerobics or another type of fitness class, Julie Marchese has always been on the move. But a breast cancer diagnosis in 2004 really shifted her into high gear. Despite having not biked or swum in thirty-odd years and having never been a runner, Julie trained for and successfully completed the Danskin All Women’s Triathlon in 2005 after being challenged by a fellow breast cancer survivor.

“After crossing the finish line, I fell in love with everything about the sport and I wanted other women to feel the same inner strength I was given by stepping out of my comfort zone and doing something I had never done before.”

 Julie went on to found Tri for a Cure with the Maine Cancer Foundation. This all-female race has become the largest triathlon in Maine and has raised over $8 million in its eight year history. Julie also established sheJAMs, a training program for women of all fitness levels, sizes and ages, who gather together to train, workout, socialize and support each other. “Women love to socialize and we socialize while we are working out in a fun, non-competitive, supportive group.” Julie believes that by being active in a group atmosphere, women and girls learn about friendly competition, hard work, leadership, and teamwork—and these attributes help to create stronger, more productive and stable communities.

SheJAMs hosts two races each year.  The first one, the Dynamic Dirt Challenge is an obstacle course race that takes place annually at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester and will be held on June 4 and 5. The first day is a 2-mile course for families ages 6 and up; while day two is a 5-mile course for ages 14 and up.

The Power of SHE, SheJAMs’ second race, is the only all women’s 10K in Portland. 2015 was the inaugural year for the Power of SHE that raised over $3,000 for Maine Women’s Fund. On August 21, 2016, the Power of She will return to Baxter Boulevard, bigger and better for year two. “We think this can be a really powerful weekend,” Julie continues, “We envision something much larger than just the running event, but we started last year with this portion as it is what we know best.” The Fund will again be the nonprofit beneficiary of The Power of She with donations supporting the Fund’s mission to advance the economic security of girls and women. For more information of the 2016 race visit SheJAMs’ website at: http://shejams.com/ or follow them on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/shejamsadmin/.

We are pleased to recognize Julie Marchese for her inspirational commitment to helping countless Maine women to reach their goals and achieve their fullest potential, and for her tireless support of the Maine Women’s Fund.

If you know of a Maine girl or women whose story deserves recognition, please email Lauren Webster LaFrance, Communications and Marketing Director at lauren@mainewomensfund.org.

Posted 03.07.2016 under News and Resources