July 19, 2020

Episode 26: Kyle Robidoux - Blind ultra runner, non-profit manager, father, husband

Episode 26: Kyle Robidoux - Blind ultra runner, non-profit manager, father, husband

Today’s guest is Kyle Robidoux. Kyle is an avid skier, runner, local beer enthusiast, and non-profit manager who has worked tirelessly to ensure that he is not defined by the boundaries that others place on him and his vision.


Today’s guest is Kyle Robidoux. Kyle is an avid skier, runner, local beer enthusiast, and non-profit manager who has worked tirelessly to ensure that he is not defined by the boundaries that others place on him and his vision. Born in Massachusetts and raised in Maine, Kyle was diagnosed at age 11 with retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a degenerative eye disease that first affects your night vision and often leads to complete blindness. He was declared legally blind at 19. His decreasing vision is far from the only obstacle he has had to battle throughout his life. He has struggled with binge eating for much of life, and in 2010 was close to 250 lbs and having a hard time playing with his young daughter. This provided him the motivation to take up running. It first started as a walk. Now, Kyle has now completed over 25 marathons and ultramarathons, including five Boston Marathons and three 100-mile races. In the summer of 2018, Kyle, with the support of his sighted guides, completed the grueling six-day, 120-mile Transrockies Run, which includes over 23,000 feet of elevation gain. He’s also focused his professional career on building community and works as a Director at the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired. In this interview, we get into the impact his eye disease had on his youth, his experience as a blind father, the inspiration to take up running, and all things training and ultra-running.

Timestamps

00:03:00 Adjusting to the pandemic

00:08:57 Dealing with his eye disease growing up

00:18:10 Deciding on whether or not to have kids

00:20:37 Unhealthy reaction to his eye disease

00:24:03 Decision to start running

00:30:18 Running with sighted guides

00:32:42 Using running as a way to raise awareness

00:35:06 Weekly training schedule

00:40:38 His first ultra

00:43:23 Racing different distances

00:47:31 What he does for fun

00:49:16 What he does for work

00:55:52 What he really wants to accomplish in the next two years

00:57:43 His daily routine

00:58:42 His driving force

00:59:26 Advice for people looking to get in better shape