More than 250 walkers, runners, bikers and four-legged friends took to the Sonoma Raceway road course on Saturday, Jan. 11, for the 9th annual John's March Against Stomach Cancer, the West Coast's only fundraising walk for No Stomach for Cancer. 

The unique fundraiser generated $12,430 for No Stomach for Cancer (, bringing the event's nine-year total to more than $145,000 raised for gastric cancer research and awareness.

Participants ranging from competitive runners to families, including children on bikes and in strollers, enjoyed a spin around the 2.52-mile, 12-turn road course during the event, which was inspired by John Cardinale, the long-time Sonoma Raceway spokesman who passed away in 2013 after a two-year battle with stomach cancer.

"Each year, it is such a humbling and rewarding experience on behalf of the organization to see the kind of support not only of friends and family of the Cardinale family, but the support in general from the Northern California area to come out for this event," said No Stomach for Cancer Executive Director Jon Florin. "We don't have a permanent presence on the west coast, so it's great to see that much support from all over the country, and there isn't a better setting than at the raceway."

Many of the participants in John's March have been directly affected by the disease, the third most common cause of cancer deaths globally. Participants came out to honor not only Cardinale, but spouses, parents and friends who have been affected by stomach cancer.

"I'm a car guy, so it was really neat to get to walk the track the first year and be able to honor my fiancé's late husband, who passed away three years ago from gastric cancer," said Steve Shields of Benicia, who participated in John's March for the second time. "I had no idea about the disease, and I feel like I have become a bit of a spokesperson in my piece of the world to get the word out about this type of cancer."

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.

Donations can still be made in honor of John's March at Sonoma Raceway will host its 10th annual John's March Against Stomach Cancer in January 2021. For more information or to get involved, contact Diana Brennan at [email protected]