About the Race

Our 2019 Hood to Coast team of 10 accomplished blind runners and 10 sighted guides was created to bring attention to the need for sighted guides across North America.  Each blind runner needs no less than 6 to 8 regular volunteer sighted guides to help us enjoy the freedom of running outdoors. Hood to Coast exemplifies this as our sighted guides will be the ones to describe the beautiful mounting vistas at the start and the rolling waves at the finish, in addition to helping us safely navigate each step of the journey. 
 
United in Stride is a tool that unites sighted guides and blind runners across North America using a zip code “Find a Partner” function.   No experience is necessary. Anyone with the eyes to see, feet to run and heart to serve is capable of learning to guide. If interested, create a profile at www.unitedinstride.com
 
Now, I’m proud to announce our 2019 United in Stride Blind Runners!

Runner Biographies

Darryl Adams (Portland, OR)

Adams, DarrylDarryl was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa at the age of 14 and is legally blind.  After his diagnosis he shifted his athletic focus from soccer to cycling and running.  While typically sticking to middle distance running, he has completed two marathons, numerous half-marathons and he has had three Hood to Coast Relay appearances.  In addition to running, he enjoys skiing, snowshoeing, hiking and kayaking and he participates in events with the Northwest Association for Blind Athletes (NWABA)  whenever possible.  Darryl works at Intel as an assistive technology and accessibility program manager where he is working on technologies that help level the playing field for people with disabilities.  He is the assistive technology chair on the board of the Diverse Ability Network, a global employee resource group at Intel.  He is also currently pursuing a master’s degree in assistive technology studies at Cal State, Northridge (CSUN).


Will Barkan (San Francisco, CA)

Barken, WillWill was diagnosed with Stargardt’s disease at age 10 and is legally blind. In his running career, Will has run 16 marathons and ultra-marathons including the Ordinance 100k, Dick Colins 50 milers, Marin Ultra Challenge, and Boston Marathon. In 2019, Will is psyched up to run the Lake Sonoma 50 miler and make his first attempt at the Tahoe Rim Trial 100 miler. He currently works on Google’s Trust & Safety team and previously served as a Department of Defense Intelligence analysts. In 2012, the Secretary of Defense recognized him as the first legally blind government employee to deploy to a combat zone after his first of three deployments to Afghanistan. 


Corvin Bazgan (San Carlos, CA)

IMG_0663Corvin was diagnosed with Usher Syndrome at the age of 18 in 1992.  He began his active lifestyle in 2005 by signing up for an Alcatraz swim and has never looked back.  Since then he has completed over 10 Alcatraz crossings, 12 marathons, and many triathlons.  His latest accomplishment is finishing the Ironman Arizona in 2018 in 12 hours and 38 minutes.  He is a software engineer, and a proud husband and father.


Jason Dunkerley (Ottawa, Canada)

Dunkerley, JasonJason has proudly represented Canada at 5 Paralympic Games and is a five-time medalist in middle distance track in the T11 category for runners who are blind. Born in Northern Ireland as one of three brothers with Lebers Congenital Amaurosis, Jason immigrated with his family to Canada in 1991 when he was thirteen. With help from a number of guide runners, Jason competed in middle distance track throughout high school and at the University of Guelph, where he studied International Development. He currently lives in Ottawa and is employed within the Canadian federal Public Service as a policy analyst. Running has been a defining part of Jason’s life and as such, he hopes to encourage people of all abilities to realize the transformational benefits of sport and physical activity, just as he himself did.


Richard Hunter (Folsom, CA)

USMC Blinded Veteran

IMG_1024Richard (51) was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) shortly after being commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the USMC in 1989. Richard worked as a school psychologist for 10 years and as a part-time lecturer at CSU Sacramento prior to losing the majority of his vision.  He finds purpose and passion in life through endurance sports and serving as a resource to visually impaired endurance athletes around the world. Richard is a 4-time Boston Marathon finisher and has completed 18 marathons, three 50-mile endurance runs, and was the 2nd visually impaired runner in the USA to complete a 100-mile run.  Richard was also the 2nd visually impaired triathlete to complete Ironman in less than 12 hours, and the 3rd to complete  a Half-Ironman in under 5 hours. Richard volunteers as the program coordinator for the USABA Marathon National Championships held each December in Sacramento, CA. In 2015, he was the leading force behind the development of United in Stride, an online database resource to unite volunteer sighted guides and blind runners across North America. Also, in August 2015, Richard was paired with Klinger, the first-ever certified running guide dog.  Special honors include being selected as the 2014 National Road Runners Club of America’s Challenged Athlete Award recipient and the 2017 SRA Community Runner of the Year. 


Jessica Loomer (Tuscon, AZ)

Loomer, JessicaJessica was diagnosed with Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON) at age 27. In the midst of all challenges that vision loss has, Jessica found running! In the last six years, Jessica started her running career and has never looked back! Many 5ks, half marathons and 4 marathons including New York City and Boston Marathon. Her proudest  accomplishment is cutting 42 minutes off of her personal best marathon time and taking first place at the USABA National Championship in 2018. When she is not running in beautiful Tucson, AZ Jessica is speaking at various events, including kids camps for the blind and visually impaired. She is currently working at the University of Arizona as a Clinical Trials Coordinator.  Running has been a huge part of Jessica’s life with vision loss – most of all, its givin her the opportunity to meet amazing guides and create lasting friendships! 


Alison Lynch (New York City, NY)

Lynch, AlisonAlison Lynch was born with achromatopsia, a genetic disorder resulting in loss of visual acuity, total colorblindness and light sensitivity. Although not athletic growing up, Alison began running in 2016 after being challenged to compete a 10k. Since that first race, Alison became hooked on endurance sports, and has completed five marathons, eight sprint and Olympic-distance triathlons, and two half Ironman triathlons, often placing in her division. She lives in New York City and works as an attorney for the federal protection and advocacy system.


Erich Manser (Littleton, MA)

Manser Kona_Chute-1Erich was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) at age 5 in 1978, and declared legally blind in 2007 when his field of peripheral vision closed to less-than 10 degrees. He currently holds the fastest known time for a visually-impaired competitor in an Ironman (2.4mi swim, 112mi bike, 26.2mi run) at 10 hours, 42 minutes and 59 seconds, as well as a variety of youth swimming records. The 2019 Boston Marathon marked Erich’s 20th marathon overall, and 10th run in Boston. He’s a technology professional with a focus on accessibility, and lives 40 minutes outside Boston with his wife and two daughters.


Newton Nguyen (Pasadena, CA)

Nguyen, NewtonNewton Nguyen is an avid triathlete and distance runner, running his first half marathon when he was 13. he is a PhD student at Caltech, researching the use of satellites to study climate change and monitor carbon emissions. He was formerly a researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, studying the behavior of light in the atmosphere with respects to climate change. He holds an MS from Caltech in Environmental Science and Engineering and a BA from UC Berkeley in Geophysics. At Berkeley, he competed on the Cal Triathlon Team, being the first blind athlete to ever compete at the US Collegiate Triathlon National Championships. He plans to recommence competing in races after completing graduate school. To Newton, guided running is a team sport, requiring communication, coordination, and trust, which makes it so much more fun.


Kyle Robidoux (Boston, MA)

Robidoux, KyleKyle Robidoux is an avid runner and alpine skier. He has completed numerous road and trail races from 5ks to four 100-mile trail ultras including the past six Boston Marathons. Kyle currently works for the Massachusetts Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired in which he manages United in Stride, a website that helps match sighted guides with runners who are blind/visually impaired. Kyle is an appointed member of the City of Boston’s Commission for Persons with Disabilities, is a mentor with the Partnership for Youth with Disabilities, and member of FriendshipWorks Board of Directors. Kyle is an Ambassador with Topo Athletic and Nathan Sports and lives in the Lower Roxbury neighborhood of Boston with his wife and daughter Lucy. Kyle was declared legally blind due to Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) at the age of 19.


Donations

Click HERE if you would like to make a donation to support United in Stride to make it possible for more blind runners to find necessary running partners. 


Our Sponsors

Healthy Vision Association

The Hunter Family

Thrivent Financial