Kyle Robidoux on Running, Skiing, & Being Legally Blind (Ep.19)


  • Kyle’s work with the Massachusetts Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired (2:30)
  • Growing up & playing sports (3:37)
  • Being diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa (5:20)
  • The changing condition of Kyle’s vision (6:18)
  • On losing sight immediately vs. progressively (8:54)
  • Facing feelings of frustration & shame (14:40)
  • How Kyle got into running (28:24)
  • Proudest accomplishments? (32:04)
  • From road running to trail running (38:51)
  • Kyle’s first 100-mile trail run (34:41)
  • Running Western States with Scott Jurek (44:47)
  • What makes for a great sighted guide? (48:11)
  • Future plans and aspirations? (49:48)
  • How can ski areas improve adaptive skiing? (52:53)
  • Kyle’s takeaway message for each of us (1:03:34)

Kyle Robidoux is a passionate runner and skier and husband and father and non-profit manager and public speaker and a beer enthusiast. He has run 25 marathons and ultra marathons, including three 100-mile races, and the Boston Marathon six times.

Kyle also happens to be legally blind.

Like the vast majority of us, Kyle Robidoux grew up loving sports and the outdoors. But at the age of 11, Kyle was diagnosed with a degenerative eye disease, and he was declared legally blind at the age of 19. And there are times when that loss of vision feels like the defining factor in Kyle’s life — just as it would for the vast majority of us.

But Kyle has been fiercely fighting this temptation to be defined by the status of his vision — and I mean fiercely.

So in this conversation, Kyle and I talk about his background, his anger about his receding vision, what he did about it — and what he continues to do about it. We talk about how he got into running and trail running; his efforts to create more inclusive trail races, and his advice to all of us about how to deal with loss of any kind, and what specific things we all can do to be better to and more supportive of everyone dealing with disabilities.

I am very thankful to Kyle for his candor and his real talk, I trust that each of you will take away something important from this conversation. I certainly did.

Connect with Kyle:

Kyle Robidoux goes on Blister's Off The Couch podcast to discuss how running has helped him as someone with limited vision, including running dozens of marathons and ultramarathons
Kyle Robidoux (photo by Eric Walley)

2 comments on “Kyle Robidoux on Running, Skiing, & Being Legally Blind (Ep.19)”

  1. mr. ellsworth, thank you for another honest, in depth discusion. you gave kyle the room to tell his story.
    this fits well with your goal of Blister telling the whole story. please continue the good work of bringing us more information.

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