Sonoma Raceway will open its 12-turn road course to walkers and runners alike as it hosts the West Coast's only major fundraising event for gastric cancer on Saturday, Jan. 21. The 6th annual John's March Against Stomach Cancer will support the fight against the third leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. 

John’s March offers a unique chance to raise funds for No Stomach For Cancer, a global advocate for stomach cancer awareness, early detection, treatment and prevention (www.nostomachforcancer.org), and enjoy a symbolic "march" around the raceway’s 2.52-mile road course. John’s March has raised more than $67,000 over the past five years.

The event is named in honor of the raceway’s longtime spokesman John Cardinale, who passed away in 2013 after a two-year battle with the disease, becoming one of nearly 723,000 people who will die from stomach cancer in the world each year.

Participants and donors are encouraged to raise awareness and increase their impact by creating a John’s March team page at www.crowdrise.com/JohnsMarch2017.  Registration for the event is $40 per person, which includes the walk/run, a T-shirt and light refreshments following the March. For those looking for more of challenge, 5K and 10K race distances will be also marked with timers. A shorter, less hilly course will be available for those who do not wish to complete the full 2.52-mile circuit.

Participants can also bring pictures of loved ones affected by gastric cancer to share on the Warrior Wall, which will honor those affected by the disease.

"What John's March means to us is bonding with a community, being able to talk, walk and share with people who are and have been on similar journeys in raising awareness for stomach cancer, and remembering our lost loved ones, which gives us a sense of hope," said Napa’s Caroline Saenz, whose husband, James, died from gastric cancer at the age of 40.

 This is an all-inclusive event - children, pets, everyone is welcome. The raceway’s Sunoco Victory Lane will also be available for pictures before and after the march. No scooters or skateboards are allowed on track.

No Stomach For Cancer is a non-profit group 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.

“Because of John’s March, we have been able to fund important programs and are one step closer to achieving our goal of transforming stomach cancer into a manageable disease and ultimately find a cure,” said Jonathan Florin, executive director of No Stomach For Cancer. “Without the support of individuals and organizations like Sonoma Raceway, we would be unable to pursue this global mission.”

Day-of registration begins at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21, and the March begins at 9 a.m. Advance registration is not required; walk-ups are welcome and encouraged. Please note: only cash and checks will be accepted at the event, but credit cards are accepted in advance through the website.  Checks should be made payable to No Stomach For Cancer, Inc.

For more information about John’s March, visit www.crowdrise.com/JohnsMarch2017 or contact Diana Brennan at dbrennan@sonomaraceway.com or 707-933-3918.