Meet Trail Runner Rory Bosio

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Rory Bosio is a force on the trails. The 33-year-old California native won the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, a prestigious 105-mile race around the Mont-Blanc massif, twice, in 2013 and 2014. She has also earned podium finishes at the Tahoe Rim Trail 50 and the Way Too Cool 50K.

Yet she has no interest in being a full-time runner. Instead, she devotes much of her time to making a difference as a full-time Pediatric ICU nurse. She balances her intense career and sporting passion with a sense of humor, tasty treats and fat beats.

Why did you start running?

I did my first race at 8 years old—one mile around my school. I hated every step of it. Luckily, things have improved since then, although I still have my down days. I did my first 50K when I was 22. I’m firmly in my 30s now, so I’ve been at it for a while.

The “why” is because I love being outdoors in the mountains as much as possible, and I love to immerse myself in the beauty of Mother Nature. I love the simplicity of running.

What is your most memorable race?

I remember eighth-grade cross-country state championships very well. I’ve never been as laser focused on a race. I think I was trying to impress my crush, so I tried really hard and ended up winning. (It’s not as impressive as it sounds because we were a very small division). I was very happy with the result. My crush didn’t seem to care, though.

What’s your favorite post-long-run treat?

I have a sweet tooth, a salty tooth and I love food, so I’m happy with most treats. My favorites include French pastries, frozen yogurt with extra rainbow sprinkles, a New York Strip steak on the bone with extra fat, any type of potato (fried, baked, mashed) and red wine to wash it all down.

How do running and your job as a pediatric ICU nurse compliment one another?

Not to put down any full-time athletes, but for me it’s a recipe for disaster to be a full-time runner. When I’m not working as much and only running, which I tried for a bit, I start to question what I’m contributing to society and what impact I’m having on the world.

Nursing is a great counterbalance to running, because when I’m at work I’m focused not on myself, but on keeping my patients alive. It offsets all the time I spend gallivanting in the mountains. To put it in a completely sanctimonious way, I feel better about my place on earth when I go to work and take care of kids.

What advice do you have for other runners balancing training with a career?

Don’t view running as “training.” This makes it seem like a chore. I view running as my fun time, and an outlet for the everyday stressors of life. Running should always feel like something you want to do to release the stress valve. 

What is your favorite run in the world?

That’s like choosing a favorite child, but as my Grandma says, every mother has her favorite (hers is my uncle Pat, which she will readily tell you). My favorite run is the Tour du Mont-Blanc in Chamonix, France. The Alps are wonderful and charming with beautiful mountainous terrain, excellent refugios off the trails to stop for a croissant and cappuccino, cute Frenchmen along the way—need I say more? There’s also over 30,000 feet of vertical gain. Did I mention I like to go uphill?

What’s your favorite race-day pump up song?

“Push It,” by Salt n Pepa.

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