Man runs for rare diseases, dedicates leg of trek to fallen officer

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – More than 3,000 miles in less than six months. One man’s done it on foot nearly three times. Noah Coughlan’s running coast to coast, from New York City to San Diego, to raise awareness about rare diseases and disorders. Now, he’s in Albuquerque.

Coughlan will be hard to miss. He’s making the journey with an 80-pound stroller of supplies and an American flag the Air Force gave him.

Coughlan’s running for the 30 million Americans battling a rare disease or disorder and 350 million people worldwide. He says Run for the Rare was inspired by two childhood friends suffering from a rare brain disease.

Coughlan started on February 28th, World Rare Disease Day, and will finish his run on July 4th. He dedicates each leg of his race to a person in the community where he’s running. In Oklahoma, he ran for three meteorologists killed in a storm.

Here in New Mexico, he’s dedicating his run to fallen Rio Rancho Police Officer Gregg Benner. Friday, six New Mexico State Police Officers and officers from the Albuquerque Police Department will join Coughlan for part of his journey. From here, he’ll head to Phoenix, Arizona and then to his destination in San Diego.

Coughlan reached more than seven million people over the course of his first two runs. He was even hit by a car in Knoxville, Tennessee but, luckily, he walked away unscathed. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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