Aired on WCYB NBC Channel 5 – Bristol, TN – April 1, 2015

By Rebecca Pepin

BRISTOL, Tenn. -

A man running across the country stopped in Bristol today to talk about why he’s pounding the pavement for so many miles.

Noah Coughlan started his journey in New York a little more than a month ago in what he calls his Run For Rare campaign.

He’s hoping to raise awareness about the number of people in this country — one in ten — suffering from rare diseases.

Coughlan says he was inspired by two girls he knew as a child and he is wearing their picture on his arm as he runs.

Today was day 33 of his 127 day trek…and coughlan says he has found people in this area to be very friendly and supportive.

“It has been quite the first month, starting off in winter and going through the previous six states,” said Coughlan. “Beautiful day out today, beautiful country, beautiful people.}

Coughlan’s next stops are Knoxville, Nashville and Memphis.

He’ll wrap up his run on July 4th in his home state of California in San Diego.