SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Ethan Bennett is running 3,289 miles in 97 days across america to raise money for the fight against cancer. Today his run crossed into Salt Lake City.
Ethan's inspiration is his mom, Susan. She lost her battle with colon cancer in 2006.
"She was a fighter," said Ethan. "She never gave up and I remember that when I'm out there in the middle of nowhere."
The idea to run from coast-to-coast came from Terry Fox, a Canadian athlete who embarked on a cross-Canada run in 1980 with just one leg. When 23-year-old Ethan said he was going to hit the road on a similar journey, people looked at the Lodi, California native like he was nuts.
"Pretty much you're crazy," Ethan said when asked what his family's reaction was.
Oddly enough, he started in Bennett Park, N.Y. on April 21st. Running 40 miles a day, 7 days a week, leaves little time for rest as Bennett races to make it to California in time for the San Francisco Marathon on July 29. Keep in mind, this is a guy who couldn't stand running in high school.
"At first I used running as a way to cope with my grief," Bennett said. "But then it kind of became therapeutic for me and now I definitely enjoy it. I needed an escape, so I ran away from the pain, letting a small piece of it stick to the pavement with each step."
I know what you're thinking, and yes, he does get the Forrest Gump comparisons.
"I've gotten a few comments on Facebook about Forrest Gump," said Ethan.
Following behind Ethan in an RV is his girlfriend, Whitney. She understands what Ethan's going through because she ran from Florida to California just last year. They met when Ethan was looking for advice on jogging across America.
"I didn't have a lot of advice to give him other than keep one foot in front of the other," said Whitney.
"Whenever I'm struggling she tells me to keep going," Ethan said.
"He believes with all his heart that nobody else should go through this...cancer needs to go down," Whitney added.
To learn more about Ethan's journey or to make a donation CLICK HERE
Sponsors fueling Bennett's cross-country trek include Innovative Health Solutions LLC (IHS), who contributed an ample supply of their sports hydration beverages, H2O Overdrive™ and H2O Overdrive HYDRATE™ for the Run to Fight.
"We were so impressed by Ethan's courage and determination," said Randy Olshen, co-founder of IHS. "He's got a long road ahead of him, and we're very honored to have been given the chance to sponsor him."
For more on H2O Overdrive CLICK HERE