This past weekend, Rory Bosio (The North Face) continued her amazingly consistent string of top ultramarathon performances with a fourth-place finish at The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc. She tells us all about it (and what song was playing in her head) in the following interview.
[Click here if you can’t see the video above.]
Rory Bosio Post-2012 TNF UTMB Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Rory Bosio after the 2012 The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc.
Rory Bosio: Or a version of it.
iRF: Something slightly resembling…
Bosio: Yeah, yeah. It was the only version I know, so… my first time.
iRF: That’s right. Walk us through how you found out about the changes.
Bosio: I didn’t find out until we had our main athlete meeting at [noon] that day. They were like, “Oh, the course has changed.” And I was like, “Okay.” I was a little bummed at first because I really wanted to go all the way around, but I don’t envy the position of the race directors. This thing seems like such a massive thing, they probably agonized over the decision and had to think of the safety of all the runners. So I think it made sense what they did, and I totally understand why they did it. We probably wouldn’t have been able to see many views anyway. So it made it a different kind of thing.
iRF: Yeah, a night race.
Bosio: A night race—I’ve never done a night race.
iRF: New experience—seeing the sunrise. You’ve never seen the sunrise during a race.
Bosio: No, I’ve never seen the sunrise [during a race]. Then finish and be able to go and have your croissants and coffee right after the finish at breakfast, so it was a little different.
iRF: Yeah, this is not American racing.
Bosio: No, not American racing, no.
iRF: How did your race go? You had to change from the mindset of 104 really rugged miles to…
Bosio: Well, the start of the race is like running with the bulls. It’s like … I like how within 20 meters of the start they have a hairpin turn to the right.
iRF: Don’t be on the outside.
Bosio: Yeah, right? The race started off way too fast for my liking. So I kind of tried to hang back and then hooked up with Krissy [Moehl] and got to run some miles with her which was really fun. Then I just kind of steadily made my way up the first climb and then got passed by a ton of people on the downhill. Yeah, those guys, man, they fly. They can just fly down that hill. It was really steep.
iRF: I wouldn’t call it technical, but it’s one of those… maybe the most difficult portion of the course that I’ve run.
Bosio: I think so, too. The downhills were so steep and it was really muddy.
iRF: It’s like a ski slope.
Bosio: Yeah, and you can’t really see. Yeah, so that was kind of hard. I hit a rough patch hiking up to La Balme and wasn’t feeling very good, and got passed by a ton of women. There goes another one. There goes another one. Then once we got towards the top and it was in the snow, I was kinda, “Oh, I like this.” From then on, I felt pretty good.
iRF: Was there any point in the race where you really started pushing it?
Bosio: Yes. I think at about 73k where that aid station was, the 2nd to last one…
iRF: Les Houches—before you cross the bridge back over the river?
Bosio: Yeah, that was it. We had that climb on pavement for awhile out of that. I was feeling pretty good there and I knew, okay, 30k/18 miles—I can go for it now. I just steadily kept the pace up.
iRF: During that, did you get any updates on where you were in the women’s field?
Bosio: I had no idea the whole night. I had told Ashley [Arnold], my main crew person, I said, “I don’t need to know. I don’t care. Just keep the vibe positive.” So I didn’t know what kind of position I was in until about 4k from the finish. Some guy, I think it was the Vibram guy, was holding up the 4. Oh, it must have been 2k to go. I was like, “I thought I only had 2k to go, not 4k!” He was trying to tell me, “Oh, you’re the 4th woman.” I was thinking he meant we had 4k to go, even though it’s not a big deal between 4k and 2k, but at that point it is.
iRF: It’s doubling the distance to go.
Bosio: You’re like, “Wait a minute. I’m supposed to be done in 10 minutes not 20 minutes,” making all the difference. So I didn’t know until then.
iRF: You could tell you were moving up.
Bosio: I could tell because I had passed two women and then nobody passed me in terms of men and women for the last 20k, so I felt pretty good.
iRF: That’s a solid finish.
Bosio: Yeah, I was happy with it. It was fun.
iRF: So you didn’t get to go around Mont Blanc this time.
Bosio: Nope. Not this time.
iRF: Do you think that you’re…
Bosio: Oh, I’m coming back for sure. I loved it. I loved the whole race experience—the spectators, the little kids who put their hand out and you slap their hands, saying “bonjour” to everybody.
iRF: Just wait until you get to go to Italy and what they’re saying; then you get to go back to Switzerland.
Bosio: Yeah, this was like a nice little taste of racing over in Europe. I loved it. I loved all of it. I’ll be back. If they’ll have me, I’ll be back.
iRF: When you get back to the States, will you be running The North Face Endurance Challenge?
Bosio: Oh, definitely.
iRF: Is that your next big focus?
Bosio: Well, I haven’t signed up for any other races except for that one in December, because I was thinking I was going to be so wrecked from this one that I didn’t want to race. But I might do something in October because this wasn’t as devastating as I thought it was going to be physically.
iRF: Or mentally.
Bosio: Or mentally. So I’ll probably do some little race or something.
iRF: Congratulations on your 4th place.
Bosio: Yeah! It was fun!
iRF: You rocked!
Bosio: Thanks! Hi Mom!
* * * * *
iRF: If you had a dance party in your head right now, what would you listen to?
Bosio: I was already listening in my head during the awards ceremony to “Shoop” by Salt n Pepa. [Sings] They didn’t play that last night at the discotheque despite my requesting it.
iRF: You would have danced to that.
Bosio: Oh yeah!