NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — The ultimate western race has arrived with the launch of John Wayne Grit Series the first annual fundraising event by the John Wayne Cancer Foundation (JWCF), whose mission is to bring courage, strength and grit to the fight against cancer. Runners and hikers will trek across stunning natural landscapes that were once where John Wayne filmed some of his iconic movies to raise funds that will support novel and innovative programs that improve cancer patients’ outcomes and save lives.
“We are thrilled to announce the first annual John Wayne Grit Series,” says Ethan Wayne Director. “Both the Alabama Hills and Ridgway are not only where my father filmed some of his timeless movies but are destinations for anyone who loves the great outdoors. With the help of the generous supporters that join us we will be able to make a big impact.”
On Saturday, October 5 participants will enter the gateway to Mt. Whitney, the tallest mountain in the contiguous US, taking to a trail through the untouched desert of the Alabama Hills near Lone Pine, CA for a half marathon or 10k. The area is known for its picturesque rugged terrain including majestic natural rock formations like the famous Mobius Arch, blue skies, snow packed peaks, and the photo worthy snap down Movie Road. The course also passes through many John Wayne movie locations like How the West Was Won and more.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the legendary film that earned John Wayne his only Academy Award, True Grit, a race will be held at the ranch that is featured in the film in Ridgway, CO on Saturday, October 12. With the steep forested San Juan mountains as a backdrop, participants will pass alongside rustic ranches on lush hillsides, view the spectacular fall changing trees, rushing rivers, and wildlife. The “True Grit 10k” takes place during a weekend full of events to celebrate the anniversary of the film with a 3-day festival, Ridgway Old West Fest, organized by the Ridgeway Western Heritage Society including scenic tours, concerts, celebrity attendance and more.
All fundraising efforts will support JWCF initiatives including pioneering cancer research programs such as the world renowned Fellowship Oncology Program at the John Wayne Cancer Institute, aid the work of the John Wayne Alumni Fellows, and contribute to Block the Blaze, a premier program that educates youth about sun safety and skin cancer prevention.
For more information on how to participate visit https://johnwayne.org/
About John Wayne Cancer Foundation
Founded in 1985, the John Wayne Cancer Foundation was created in honor of John Wayne after his family promised to use his name to continue his fight against cancer. The John Wayne Cancer Foundation’s mission is to bring courage, strength and grit to the fight against cancer. By funding novel and innovative programs, aligned with the priorities of research, education, awareness and support, JWCF improves cancer patient outcomes and achieves its mission. Fight cancer with GRIT at www.johnwayne.org