CANTON — It was a hero’s welcome in Bradford County to a man running cross-country to raise money for cancer.
Garth Watson made a stop in his home community of Canton on his run from Los Angeles to New York City.
“Who`s ready for Garth?” yelled the DJ to the dozens gathered on Main Street.
The crowd in Canton was alive with excitement to welcome home the local hero.
As Watson jogged onto Main Street with an entourage in tow, folks in his native community erupted into cheers. But this isn`t just any old homecoming for him.
Watson has been on an amazing trek, running across the country to raise money for Stand Up 2 Cancer.
“It`s something I always wanted to do since I was a sophomore in high school, something I didn’t think I would end up being able to do, and then the opportunity presented itself and I learned about Stand Up 2 Cancer,” said Watson.
On May 11 Watson left the Pacific Coast behind him in Los Angeles with his sights set on running all the way to New York City.
“I knew going into it that the mental aspect would be the toughest, so I just kind of prepared myself mentally,” said Watson.
But the 24 year old is no stranger to long distance running.
He started cross-country in eighth grade, running on teams through college.
And in his junior year in high school, Watson ran across Pennsylvania.
“He ran across the state of Pennsylvania for his senior project to help raise money for our local track, which we hadn`t had at that time and he raised about $20,000 in cash for that,” said Glenda Watson, Garth’s mother.
“He`s a guy that just believes in himself and always wants to help others, it`s just incredible what he`s done,” said Steve Williams, Watson’s cross country coach.
His journey isn’t over yet and he already has logged more than 2,700 miles and surpassed his goal to raise $10,000 for his cause.
“To have a young man who went through school here in Canton,” said Canton Mayor John Vineksi. “I watched him as a cross country runner, very, very wonderful young man. We`re all very proud of him.”
“I couldn’t imagine, makes you feel like you haven’t done anything in your life when someone does something like that,” said one woman who came out to cheer for Watson.
Now it`s on to The Big Apple for Watson. He’s shooting to get there next Wednesday. After that he says he`ll take a little rest and relaxation before going out on his next jog.