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“Cancer took my sight, blindness gave me vision, and adventure lets me live.” This is the quote featured on Kyle Coon’s website, a concise summary of his life story and path towards adventures few people attempt. Coon lost his sight at the age of six. It was also around this time that he met Erik Weihenmayer, a world-class blind athlete who has summited the highest peak on every continent. Coon’s meeting with Weihenmayer inspired him to live without his blindness holding him back. He graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in communication, and now works as an inspirational speaker, author and adventure athlete.
Coon has hiked Machu Picchu with Team Sight Unseen, and personally summited Mount St. Helens in Washington and Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa. He focuses most on triathlons though, with over 10 Olympic-length triathlons under his belt and a PR at Ironman Arizona of 11:46:43.
In this video, Associate Editor of Trail Runner, Megan Janssen, catches up with Coon after his first trail race, the Power of Four 25K in Aspen, Colorado just a few miles from the Trail Runner office. Coon was guided through this rocky 25K race, featuring around 3,500 feet of ascent, by his younger sister, Kelsey. While they hit some bumps along the way (literally), this is still just a training run for Coon, who has his sights set on his upcoming triathlons, and future trail races to come.