The John Wayne Grit Series give trail runners the opportunity to run through rugged Western landscapes and iconic movie sets where John Wayne once sauntered, all while raising valuable funds for cancer research and treatment. First held in 2019 in California and Colorado, the Grit Series for 2022 now features four different runs across the west and seeks to raise money and awareness for the John Wayne Cancer Foundation’s continued efforts to beat cancer at every turn.

Grit Series events are popular with runners and lovers of the great outdoors. Past participants have shared their opinions, including:

“The Grit Series events are not just events to raise money. They raise awareness. They promote camaraderie. They draw you in and make you feel like family.”

“I know I am running for a cause I truly believe in.”

Now is the time to register for any or all of the four featured races. Early bird registration is available through January 15 for all runs, using the code GRIT15 for an additional 15% off registration. Visit to learn more and register today.

The series begins in May in Pioneertown, California, where runners will traverse the rugged terrain and magnificent views of the Sawtooth Mountains in the Pioneertown Mountain Preserve. The race begins and ends in Pioneertown, one of the most important Western movie sets in the United States.

Next, runners can visit Newport Coast in California in June. The 5K and 25K courses provide participants the chance to get dusty on the dirt roads and single-track trails in Crystal Cove State Park located on the coast between Newport Beach and Laguna Beach. Runners will test their endurance on the challenging climb out of El Moro Canyon and be rewarded with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island.

In October, the series returns to Lone Pine, California. The half marathon course goes through the Alabama Hills National Scenic Area and features dirt roads, single track trails, hills and spectacular views of Mount Whitney. The 10K course is a shorter course with the same amazing views.

The series will end in November in Fort Worth’s Historic Stockyards. The 5K run starts at the John Wayne: An American Experience exhibit and goes down the brick paved streets of the Stockyards and out along the Trinity Trail where runners will take in the views of the downtown Fort Worth skyline. Also, new locations may be added later this year.

Each of the races offers fundraising rewards to teams and individuals who fundraise for the John Wayne Cancer Foundation as a part of their run experience. The races have many ways that guests can participate, including:

•  Participants can pay to register or can commit to fundraise instead to make an even bigger impact in the fight against cancer.

•  Each participant gets a John Wayne Grit Series running shirt and finisher mug.

•  Fundraisers can earn rewards like a John Wayne Grit Series trucker hat, John Wayne Grit Series Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket, and even the opportunity to name a research grant.

•  Each event is timed and will feature podium prizes and medals for the fastest runners.

•  Additional rewards are presented to the top fundraisers for each event.

John Wayne believed in searching for a cure for cancer. A survivor of lung cancer who ultimately succumbed to stomach cancer in 1979, t Duke was adamant about helping all people fight cancer. This cancer organization that was founded in his honor is a true, lasting legacy of which Wayne would be proud.

Grit Series Event Schedule for 2022

Pioneertown, CA Half Marathon & 10K, May 7 --

Newport Coast, CA 25K & 5K, June 4 --

Lone Pine, CA Half Marathon & 10K, October 15 --

Fort Worth, TX 5K, November 12 --

To learn more, or to sign up for a Grit Series run, please visit


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 so every step you take advances the fight against cancer through pioneering research and programs. For more information, visit



The John Wayne Cancer Foundation’s (JWCF) 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