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2020 John Wayne Grit Series - Newport Coast 25K & 5K...

  • 25K Run:- 25K Run
  • 5K Run/Walk:- 25K Run
Saturday, November 14, 2020
Crystal Cove State Park
8471 N Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach

_ The 2020 John Wayne Grit Series - Newport Coast 25K & 5K:

John Wayne Grit Series (JWGS)

How the West is Run

Show your grit in the fight against cancer by running through spectacular John Wayne movie locations and rugged western landscapes. The series benefits John Wayne Cancer Foundation, so every step you take advances the fight against cancer through pioneering cancer research and programs. For more information about the series visit johnwayne.org.

John Wayne Grit Series – Newport Coast, CA 25K & 5K – Saturday, November 14, 2020

Bring your John Wayne grit to the trails and #RunToFightCancer. 

It’s California the way it used to be. So partner, bring all the grit you can muster to tackle the rugged coastal trails in John Wayne’s backyard. 

Join us as an individual or a team 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. You’ll test your endurance on the challenging climb out of El Moro Canyon and be rewarded with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island. After you’ve finished the course, join us for a celebration at the John Wayne Grit Down!

In the words of John Wayne, “There are some things a man just can't run away from.”  When you join us on the trails, you’ll be fighting cancer head on with every step you take.


This stunning course features hill climbs and ocean views from dirt roads and single track trails and provides three full aid stations and two water stations to keep you fueled every step of the way.  

  • Trail rating: intermediate
  • Elevation gain: approximately 2,500 ft. 
  • Course open at 8:00 am and closes at 1:00 pm


This course is on dirt roads with a challenging hill climb and is a shorter version of the 25K course with the same spectacular views. Take breaks at the full aid station and a water station for refreshment that will power you to the finish line. 

  • Trail rating: intermediate
  • Elevation gain: approximately 600 ft. 
  • Course open at 8:30 am and closes at 1:00 pm

The elevation at Crystal Cove State Park in Laguna Beach is 1,033 ft.  

Both loop courses start and finish at the bridge in the lower parking lot of Crystal Cove State Park. At the finish line, you’ll be rewarded with a finisher’s mug and the satisfaction of knowing that you stepped up to the challenge and helped fight cancer. 

Partner, it’s time to saddle up and begin fundraising today for your chance to win exclusive merchandise, free race entries, and hotel stays. See you on the trails! 

John Wayne Grit Series Benefiting John Wayne Cancer Foundation

Your participation makes it possible for the John Wayne Cancer Foundation to fund novel and innovative programs that improve cancer patients’ outcomes and save lives through research, education, awareness and support. 

Form a team today and run or walk in honor of family and friends who have been affected by cancer. Want free registration and awesome prizes? Fundraise instead of purchasing your registration. It’s easy: just send emails, post what you’re doing on Social Media and tell your friends, family and co-workers. And, we’ll help you every step of the way. Visit the JWGS website at https://johnwayne.org/jwgs/ to learn more, see a complete list of fundraising incentives and activate your fundraising page today. 

  • Form a Corporate Team or Friends and Family Team and Fundraise To Make a Big Impact 
    • Promote team building and wellness at your company, show your support for charity and spotlight your company at the run/walk
    • Run/ or walk as a group in honor or memory of a loved one who has been affected by cancer
    • Contact Greg Graber at JWCF for more information about setting up your fundraising team: [email protected] or 949-631-8400

Event details and schedule


Event Schedule and Details - THE NITTY GRITTY

Event Schedule


Packet Pickup

Packet Pickup will be in Orange County, CA at location TBD from 4 PM to 7 PM.

  • Please be sure to have your ID and signed hardcopy waiver (available onsite) when you check-in to get your packet.
  • Your packet will include your bib number (with a timing chip on it), safety pins to put your number on your shirt, your event shirt, and additional goodies and info.

The last day to register online is Thursday November 12. If you don't register online, you can register in person at Packet Pickup on Friday November 13. No registration sign ups available on event day.


Start Times

  • Pre-Run/Walk announcements will start promptly at 7:45 AM
  • 25K start time: 8:00 AM
  • 5K start time: 8:30 AM

Each participant will receive a bib number with a timing chip on it, and the timing results will be posted on the johnwayne.org website. Participants can choose to do the event at a leisurely pace for fun or to get their best time and compete for the podium and awesome prizes.

Start/Finish Line

The course is located in Crystal Cove State Park in Laguna Beach, CA. 


Crystal Cove State Park
8471 N. Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, California 92651 


The start/finish line for the both the 25K and 5K are at the lower parking lot at Crystal Cove State Park located off of the Pacific Coast Highway entrance to the Park at the traffic signal near El Morro School. Follow the event signage/arrows to the start/finish line.

***Parking is $15 per person so please remember to bring cash or a credit card for payment.

Cut off Times

There is a firm 5 hour cut off time for the 25K course at 1:00 pm and 5K at 1:00 pm. This will allow JWCF to comply with our permit conditions.

Finisher’s Mug

Each participant who finishes the event will receive an official JWGS finisher mug at the finish line. 

Grit Down

We will celebrate our accomplishments together after the run is over at the finish line. Water, Gatorade and snacks will be provided at the finish line. More information coming soon! 

Course Info.

Visit https://johnwayne.org/jwgs/ website for course maps and elevation profiles.

Arrival Information 


There are several airports in the region, a few of the main airports are listed below:

  • John Wayne Airport in Orange County (closest to the event)
  • Long Beach Airport
  • LAX

Check the map on your phone for travel times.


The Moro Campground is located near the start/finish line in Crystal Cove State Park. For details and information for site-specific reservations, call (800) 444-7275 or visit www.reservecalifornia.comRV-$75.00/Tent- $55.00

Surf and Sand Hotel 


1555 South Coast Hwy.

Laguna Beach, CA 92651

- All ocean view rooms are offered to our participants for $350.00 (standard rates typically $600.00 and up)

- Valet Parking waved ($40.00)

- Overnite Parking waved ($25.00)

*Entrants need to call reservations 949-376-2751 and mention the John Wayne Grit Series.


The Island Hotel

690 Newport Center Dr.

Newport Beach, CA 92660

- All room blocks are offered to our participants for $209.00 

- Walking distance to Fashion Island

- Short drive to Crystal Cove State Park


Laguna Beach Inn


2020 S. Coast Hwy

Laguna Beach, Ca. 92651


- All rooms are $149.00 per night

- This is a boutique hotel with only 20 rooms total

- Participants can call and mention the John Wayne Grit Series


Driving Directions

Enter the Park address in your phone to get driving directions.

Crystal Cove State Park
8471 N. Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, California 92651 


The start/finish line is located in the lower parking lot. 

Crystal Cove State park is located off Pacific Coast Highway between Corona Del Mar and Laguna Beach, California. Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), Route 1, passes directly by the Park. 

There is easy access from I-5, 405 and 73. 

Click on link below to see the map of the park:


There is parking by the start/finish line on the inland side of PCH. 

Follow the event signage. 

The start/finish line is located at the lower parking lot by the trail head located near the Berns Environmental Study Loop & Amphitheater.

Take PCH to the Moro Canyon/Backcountry Entrance at the traffic signal in front of El Morro School. Drive up the hill and at the fork in the road make a right turn and go to the guard gate to pay a $15 parking fee. Then continue on the road down the hill and at the bottom of the hill turn left and park in the lower parking lot. 

If the lower parking lot is full, go back up the hill and park next to the Ranger Station & Visitor Center and walk down to the start line.

Additional parking areas that are located farther away from the start/finish line, but still within walking distance on the ocean side of PCH at stop lights Reef Point. There is parking farther away beyond walking distance at Newport Coast and the Los Trancos parking area.


It’s free for family and friends to cheer you on at the start/finish line. Each event participant is required to register, including youth.

Waivers & ID

Each participant is required to sign a waiver in order to participate in the run/walk, this includes the online registration waiver. Each participant is also required to sign a hardcopy waiver at packet pickup.

What to Wear

We expect mild weather, an average of 71 degrees, possibly ranging from a low of 55 to a high of 75 degrees Fahrenheit, but weather is variable, so please be prepared for all conditions, including both cooler and warmer weather. Precipitation is unlikely, but be prepared.

  • Trail running/walking shoes and socks.
  • Remember JWCF’s 5 sun safe tips: sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, clothing and bring clothing for both cool and warm weather and seek shade. 
  • Bring a bandana or buff for sun protection and in case it gets windy.

On Course Food and Hydration

There will be water and aid stations throughout the course with water, Gatorade, GU energy gels & chews and a variety of sweet and salty items.

This is wilderness area so be aware on the trail and avoid wildlife.

Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed on the course.


  • Hydrate and get adequate rest before the event.
  • Make sure to practice walking or running, including some time training on trails and hills. You can find training tips on johnwayne.org (coming soon!) and by searching the internet including websites like Trail Runner magazine, Active.com, etc. 
  • The trails are in excellent condition - be prepared for a variety of conditions ranging from hardpacked to sandy. 
  • If you are new to trails, and if you’ve ever considered making the jump from the road to trails this is the event for you. Make sure you practice walking or running on trails before doing the event, including hills and practice in trail running shoes. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.
  • Join in the fun, you’ll be glad you did. We are excited to open up a whole new world of adventure for you and your friends!

Prizes for Top Finishers & Top Fundraisers

  • Igloo cooler and unique finisher medal for top 3 female and male finishers for both the 25K and 5K!
  • A complete list of fundraising incentives is listed on the website at https://johnwayne.org/jwgs/

JWGS Apparel

JWGS apparel will be available for sale at packet pickup and race day and is available online at https://johnwayne.org/shop

No Refunds, no rollovers


Bib Transfer

You can transfer your bib number to someone else if you can’t do the event, this is through Active.com up until registration is closed. And then, after that, you can do this at packet pickup.

Other Info

-) 2020 race registration is open • Registration Information 


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