71° Fort Worth
All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

TCU 360

All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

Brotherly love: How brothers of Wes Smith honor legacy at upcoming Cowtown Marathon

Graham Smith
The Smith family from left to right: Wes, Graham, Dorree Jane, Philip and Dawson. (Photo Courtesy of Graham Smith)

The brothers of slain TCU student Wes Smith are remembering him this weekend at the 46th annual Cowtown Marathon.

Graham and Dawson Smith stepped up to form “Team Wes” in honor of their youngest brother, Wes Smith, the TCU student who was killed Sept. 1 during a random assault in downtown Fort Worth.

Wes Smith was a member of the 2021 TCU Football team. (Photo Courtesy of Graham Smith)

The Smith family is encouraging both the TCU and Fort Worth communities to join Team Wes Feb. 23-25 and support the Wes Smith Endowment Fund, which will provide scholarship awards at TCU. The family’s GoFundMe campaign has raised over $17,000. 

Oldest brother and TCU alum Graham Smith said his family hopes the Wes Smith Endowment Fund will provide future students the opportunity to attend TCU and “experience the wonderful school that it is and that curriculum and community it has to offer.”

“If there’s somebody out there that might not have had the chance to experience what Wes and I did, it would mean the world for us if they got to have that experience also,” Graham Smith said.

In addition to joining Team Wes at the marathon, the family is also encouraging the community to attend additional events this weekend. 

People can support Team Wes from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 23 at Jon’s Grille, 2905 West Berry St. 

Team Wes will also gather from 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24 at TCU Hyatt Frog Bar at 3029 Sandage Ave.

Supporters can cheer on Team Wes runners on Sunday, Feb. 25 at various locations along the Cowtown Marathon route, including Esperanza’s Restaurant and Bakery at 2122 North Main St., a friend’s home at 2210 Pembroke Drive near Forest Park Boulevard and the finish line at Will Rogers Memorial Center. 

Team Wes supporters can also stop by the designated team table at the marathon’s start on Gendy Street near Amon G. Carter Jr. Exhibits Hall for water, snacks and Team Wes shirts.

Brothers Graham and Dawson Smith will be running throughout Fort Worth during the Sunday, Feb. 25 Cowtown Marathon. (cowtownmarathon.org)

Their mother, Dorree Jane Smith, said her family is looking forward to this weekend because when they are in Fort Worth with the TCU community, “we feel like we are with Wes.”

Dawson Smith said he “gets a lot of enrichment from being around others and being with people,” just like his younger brother Wes.

Both brothers said they were eager to reconnect with the Fort Worth community.

“I look forward to getting to see all his friends and see how everyone can be there and come together for what’s going to be a great cause and a great weekend,” Dawson Smith said. 

Graham Smith said, “Fort Worth and TCU have just shown us more support than we could ever believe already and they continue to show it everyday.”

Those planning to run the Cowtown Marathon on Team Wes can register until Feb. 24 on the Team Wes Cowtown Marathon site. No in-person or on-site registration will be available. Supporters can also contribute to the Wes Smith Endowment Fund through the Smith family’s GoFundMe.

A weekend on the run

Thousands of runners are expected to take over the streets of Fort Worth this weekend during the Cowtown Marathon.

Events are scheduled for Feb. 23-25. Last year’s marathon was the 57th largest marathon in the United States, according to Find My Marathon.

The race will shut down numerous streets between downtown and the Westcliff neighborhood, including some streets that run through TCU's campus.

This year, the marathon offers various races tailored to accommodate participants of all ages and running abilities.

Saturday’s races include the 10k, the Adult 5K and the Kids 5K. Sunday will focus on the ultra-marathon, marathon and half-marathon races.

Distances range from 13.1 miles in the half marathon to 26.2 in the classic marathon and 31.1 in the ultra-marathon.

There’s also the Cowtown Challenge, which includes a Saturday run and a Sunday run.

"This race was created for those runners who want to challenge themselves to complete two races either virtually or in-person," according to the Cowtown Marathon website.

By competing in marathons, runners can qualify for the Boston Marathon. According to Find My Marathon, “Last year, 5.9% of finishers qualified for the Boston Marathon, and 5.4% of runners qualified for Boston in 2022.”

Beyond just the race, the event offers programming aimed at helping children make healthy choices. Established in 2009, children's activities for life and fitness promotes a lifelong love of fitness, among to help tens of thousands of children, according to the Cowtown Marathon.

“In the past 13 years, we have awarded over 50,000 financial grants and pairs of running shoes,” according to the website.

Registration is still open.

More to Discover