John Wayne Grit Series Hits Newport Coast

May 24, 2023

The renowned John Wayne Grit Series, which has been captivating trail runners since 2019, is back for its 2023 edition. This thrilling series of runs not only offers an exhilarating experience amidst breathtaking scenery but also aims to raise crucial funds for cancer research, education, awareness, and support through the John Wayne Cancer Foundation. Get ready as the second race of the series makes its way to the stunning Newport Coast, on June 3.

Prepare to be amazed as participants embark on a challenging course that showcases hill climbs, ocean views, and a blend of dirt roads and single-track trails. Starting and finishing at the lower parking lot of Crystal Cove State Park, situated along the coastline between Newport Beach and Laguna Beach, this picturesque route promises an unforgettable journey. Runners can choose from three distances: 5K, 25K, and 50K, catering to a wide range of skill levels.

The Newport Coast Grit Series 5K welcomes beginner and intermediate runners who seek an exciting challenge. Meanwhile, the 25K and 50K courses are designed for seasoned trail runners looking for a true adventure. On race day, participants will have the incredible opportunity to meet members of the John Wayne family, who frequently attend the event. After crossing the finish line, unwind and celebrate your achievement with a refreshing beer in the beer garden.

Each run within the Grit Series presents a chance for runners and walkers to contribute to the John Wayne Cancer Foundation's noble cause. There are various ways to get involved and make a meaningful impact:

  • Participants can choose to pay a registration fee or take it a step further by fundraising for the fight against cancer.
  • Every participant receives a John Wayne Grit Series Nathan running shirt and a commemorative finisher mug.
  • Fundraisers have the opportunity to earn exciting rewards such as a John Wayne Grit Series trucker hat, Nathan Puff Vest, Rumple Puff Blanket, Igloo Backpack Cooler, or YETI M20 Backpack Cooler.
  • The timed races will award podium prizes and medals to the three fastest runners in each category, recognizing the outstanding achievements of both men and women.

John Wayne, an iconic figure in Hollywood and a survivor of lung cancer, fervently dedicated himself to the pursuit of finding a cure for cancer. Though he eventually succumbed to stomach cancer in 1979, his unwavering commitment to helping others fight cancer lives on. The John Wayne Cancer Foundation was established in his honor, and the John Wayne Grit Series serves as a lasting tribute to his enduring legacy.

Whether you have been personally affected by cancer and want to make a difference or simply love the thrill of running in awe-inspiring locations alongside like-minded individuals, the 2023 John Wayne Grit Series offers an extraordinary opportunity. Here is the lineup of events:

  • June 3: Newport Coast, California (50K, 25K, and 5K)
  • Sept. 23: Ridgway, Colorado (True Grit Half Marathon and 5K)
  • Oct. 21: Lone Pine, California (Half Marathon and 10K)
  • Nov. 11: Fort Worth Stockyards, Texas (5K)

To learn more about the John Wayne Grit Series or to register for a race, go to

Greer's OC
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Since 1993, Greer has been writing about fashion, dining and trends in Orange County, as a popular columnist for the Los Angeles Time Community Newspapers (Daily Pilot, Coastline Pilot and HB Independent) and now as founder of Greer’s OC.

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