Roaring engines were replaced by marching feet at Sonoma Raceway on Saturday, Jan. 17, as more than 300 people turned out for the 4th annual John's March Against Stomach Cancer fundraiser.

The event generated a record-setting amount in its fourth year, raising more than $15,500 for No Stomach For Cancer (www.nostomachforcancer.org). Walkers, runners and even dogs took part in a symbolic march around the 2.52-mile, 12-turn road course, which is held in honor of John Cardinale, the long-time Sonoma Raceway spokesman who passed away in 2013 after a two-year battle with stomach cancer.

John's March has raised more than $50,000 over the past four years and is the only major fundraiser for gastric cancer on the West Coast.

"No Stomach For Cancer is so grateful to Sonoma Raceway for hosting this event, and we are so honored to be a part of this amazing walk," said Melanie Torborg, No Stomach for Cancer's treasurer. "Our organization supports patients with stomach cancer and their families, funds research for stomach cancer and continues to spread the word about the second deadliest cancer. We hope to be a part of John's March for many years to come."

Participants in the march ranged from competitive runners to families, including children on bikes and in strollers. In addition to the basic road-course circuit, the raceway also offered 5K and 10K distances for this year's event. Participants were also encouraged to sign the new Memory Wall in honor of those affected by gastric cancer. 

"I march for John because he was a beacon of hope for so many, and I can only do my best to be at least a pinch of that light," said third-year participant Rachael Hairston of Sonoma. "I didn't know John before his diagnosis, I just met him at the march. He truly was a shining example of how to face obstacles in life with courage and strength, and how it's okay to accept help from the people who surround us, including those we don't know. I can't imagine not walking every year in his honor and in honor of all those affected by gastric cancer."

No Stomach For Cancer is non-profit organization that works to increase awareness and education about stomach cancer, provide a support network for affected families and support research efforts for screening, early detection, treatment and prevention of stomach cancer. Among its efforts, No Stomach For Cancer awarded $100,000 in new research grants in 2014 to fund exploration of the development of gastric cancer.

Donations can still be made in honor of this event at nostomachforcancer.org/support-us/donate. Sonoma Raceway will host its 5th annual John's March Against Stomach Cancer in January 2016. For more information or to get involved, contact Diana Brennan at dbrennan@racesonoma.com.