John Wayne Cancer Foundation 5K Comes to Fort Worth Stockyards

Charity Run Finishes Just as Country Music Showdown Begins

COSTA MESA, Calif., Oct. 18, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Two things are emblematic of the Old West: John Wayne and the historic Fort Worth Stockyards in Texas. They will come together on Saturday, Nov. 13, as the John Wayne Grit Series 5K takes place to fundraise for the John Wayne Cancer Foundation (JWCF) so it can fund novel and innovative programs that improve cancer patients’ outcomes and save lives through research, education, awareness, and support. Additional races in the series take place in California and Arizona among the rugged western landscapes where John Wayne filmed many of his movies.

The race starts at 8 a.m. at the brand-new John Wayne: An American Experience Exhibit, looping along the Trinity Trail, with views of the West Fork of the Trinity River and the downtown Fort Worth skyline, before returning on the Stockyards’ brick streets to the Exhibit. The course closes at 11 a.m., coinciding with the start of the Country Music Showdown, featuring 10 bands performing on outdoor stages from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and ending with a free concert by Will Carter.

“Dad would have loved the Stockyards and the way it’s keeping cowboy culture alive and accessible,” said Ethan Wayne, the JWCF’s director and John Wayne’s son. “With the world’s only year-round rodeo, the twice-daily longhorn cattle drive, and the gunfight shows, it was the perfect home for John Wayne: An American Experience, and for the latest John Wayne Grit Series run. The locations for our California runs this spring are just as ideal.”

Packets can be picked up at John Wayne: An American Experience, 2501 Rodeo Plaza, Fort Worth, TX 76164, from 2 to 6 p.m., Friday, Nov. 12. Race announcements are at 7:45 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 13. An aid station will be available at the 1.5-mile mark (runners will pass it twice).

People can take part for free by raising a minimum of $250 or pay a registration fee. All participants receive a John Wayne Grit Series Patagonia running shirt, a finisher mug, and a free ticket to the John Wayne: An American Experience Exhibit and a discount for the store. Fundraising rewards range from John Wayne Grit Series trucker hats to Patagonia Nano puff jackets and being able to name a JWCF grant in honor or memory of a friend or family member. Registration is open at

All fundraising efforts support the JWCF’s initiatives, including pioneering cancer research programs and Block the Blaze, a premier program that educates youth about sun safety and skin cancer prevention. John Wayne passed away at 72 from stomach cancer. Fifteen years before, he had surgery for lung cancer. According to Variety magazine, he “enjoyed probably the longest and most successful career of any actor in film history,” and just prior to his passing, he said, “They may find a cure for cancer even without your help, but if I were you, I wouldn’t bet my life on it.”

Show your grit in the fight against cancer by running through iconic John Wayne movie locations and rugged Western landscapes. The John Wayne Grit Series events benefit the John Wayne Cancer Foundation. Locations and dates for the series are: a half marathon and 10K run in Lone Pine, Calif., Oct. 16, 2021; a 5K run in Fort Worth, Texas, Nov. 13, 2021; a half marathon and 10K run in Pioneertown, Calif., May 7, 2022; and 5K and 25K runs in Newport Coast, Calif., June 4, 2022. For more information, visit

The John Wayne Cancer Foundation’s mission is to bring courage, strength, and grit to the fight against cancer. JWCF funds novel and innovative programs that improve cancer patients’ outcomes and save lives through research, education, awareness, and support. The JWCF is a 501(C)(3) public charity. For more information, visit

Orca Communications
Wendy Roberts

Martin Stein