Meet Ryan Doyle – free runner and winner of Red Bull ‘Art of Motion’

From the latest ‘Red Bulletin’ – Ryan Doyle who is one of the worlds leading free runners and his approach to life.

He flips for everything The 24-year-old won the first international free-running contest, Red Bull Art of Motion. “Free-running isn’t about the destination, it’s about the journey. When you’re a kid, you climb trees, run around, and then you reach a point where you think, ‘I’ve got to get a job,’ and you forget. But I still jump off walls and basically flip off the world around me. Most people think you have to sit on a bench, but a free-runner will see a bench completely differently, so everyday things become your apparatus. It’s about being free in your head.” He was big when he was little “I was the fat kid at school and always got put in goal when we played football. I hated it. It made me go and find another sport, and I found martial arts. I lost all my fat when I started that. It was a combination of enjoying physical activity and getting interested in girls. I love to eat, but I could live off salads and still get fat. Free- running is perfect for me – you can do it anywhere, any time.” His people are gathering “I do get recognised – it’s strange. There are kids who ask for my autograph back home in Liverpool, and I think, ‘Why don’t you come to one of the classes I teach? You live down the road – we could be friends.’ And I always get people in the street shouting, ‘Do a flip, lad.’”

He has blind faith
“I’ve got really bad eyesight, which isn’t good for a free-runner. I’ll run towards objects and they only come into focus when they’re 5ft away from me. When I jump over a balcony or something, it could be 10ft, it could be 20; I don’t know until I drop. But if I had my eyes lasered and knew how high it was, I might not do it at all, so I’m using my bad eyesight to my advantage.”
He’s part-bionic
In a competition in 2007, I nailed a 12ft drop in the final, but felt my leg snap: I’d missed the crash mat and landed on concrete. Now I’ve got a 33cm bar and 14 screws in my left leg. But I still won. When I was in hospital feeling lonely and a bit sorry for myself, the other competitors came in to break the news and bring me my trophy.”

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