After a year hiatus, two-time champ and course-record holder Rory Bosio returns to UTMB. In the following interview, Rory talks about how Chamonix has become a second home for her, what she’s been up to the past year and a half, and how she knew it was time to return to UTMB.
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Rory Bosio Pre-2016 UTMB Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Rory Bosio before UTMB 2016. Hey, Rory.
Rory Bosio: Hi, Bryon!
iRunFar: It’s good to see you!
Bosio: It’s good to see you, too.
iRunFar: It’s been awhile.
Bosio: It’s been awhile, man. Well, we saw each other at The North Face.
iRunFar: What have you been up to?
Bosio: I’ve been living the dream over here in Europe for most of the summer just counting my lucky stars. I must have been a good person in my past life because I haven’t been a good one in this one, yet, I still feel pretty lucky. Yeah, I’ve been over here for most of summer.
iRunFar: Where have you been living mostly?
Bosio: I’ve been living a little north of Chamonix, about a five minute bike ride out of Chamonix, so in Chamonix. Yeah, it’s been very nice.
iRunFar: Nice. So you are quite familiar with the trails.
Bosio: Quite familiar, yeah. I’m starting to feel like this is my home away from home. I don’t even need to carry a map with me anymore, not like you need it for the trail markings, but just to figure out where to go. I feel like I’ve found some hidden trails off the beaten path. I’m getting to know all the good gelato places.
iRunFar: I’m sure there are many to choose from.
Bosio: Yes, there are many to choose from, but some are better than others.
iRunFar: You’ll have to give me the beta later.
Bosio: I will.
iRunFar: So you also did that before was it 2013 you spent the bulk of the summer here?
Bosio: Yeah, I did it before 2013 and 2014. I came out six weeks early—the perfect excuse using UTMB as an excuse to come over and spend time.
iRunFar: This year has been even longer?
Bosio: This year has been a little bit longer, yeah.
iRunFar: That’s awesome.
Bosio: Yeah, it’s really nice.
iRunFar: So it does feel like a second home. It probably allows you to not feel so much in the moment excitement and pressure. A lot of people come over and show up this week and it’s harried.
Bosio: Yeah, I think that would be hard. I like to come over and get my body on this time schedule and get my Alps legs as I call them. I live in the mountains back home in Tahoe, but don’t quite have the same amount of vertical gain that you can get over here. It’s nice to be able to come over early and get used to that style of running.
iRunFar: You really are locked into that. Each trail system has its own grade. You’re dialed.
Bosio: Yeah, totally. I’m dialed.
iRunFar: Which you’ve been in the past, so that’s got to give you some confidence going in?
Bosio: Sure, I mean, the past is the past. You never know. It’s a completely different year.
iRunFar: But you feel strong?
Bosio: Yeah, I feel strong. I feel the same. I feel like I usually feel. I feel like me.
iRunFar: That’s good to hear because it’s been a couple years since you’ve been more active in the racing scene. You did Lavaredo [Ultra Trail] this year. What happened there?
Bosio: I had a lot of food poisoning issues, so I was like 36 hours of vomiting hell, but I finished it. It wasn’t pretty. I mean, the race course was pretty. What was coming out of me was not. Yeah, it happens.
iRunFar: It’s not indicative of your fitness. You just had an acute issue.
Bosio: No, my legs felt great. My legs felt great. My stomach—no.
iRunFar: Have you done anything else this year race-wise?
iRunFar: Pretty much Lavaredo and this?
Bosio: Yeah, Lavaredo and this. I raced a lot in 2015 but different races—adventure races and mountain bike races. I was actually over here last July for what they called “The World’s Hardest Mountain Bike Race” that is just down valley a little bit. It lives up to its name for sure. It was 15 hours of torture on a bike during a French heatwave with 24,000 feet of climbing. So I feel like I did a different type of UTMB last year on a bike.
iRunFar: So you didn’t take a year off. You just took a year in a different mode. What’s it been like this year? You had the whole television series come out. What’s that been like?
Bosio: I actually don’t have television myself. It’s been really fun. It was really fun to hear the feedback from friends and family who could finally see what I was doing for those 10 months I was gone from the year. I wasn’t just disappearing off the map. I was actually doing some races. It was a really fun experience. We got to travel all around the world and do a bunch of different types of races that I normally wouldn’t do. I think that variety being the spice of life and everything really got me excited again. I think, for me, doing too much ultra racing, sometimes it can feel… I don’t like it when it starts to feel like a chore. To kind of keep that excitement in you and always trying something new and challenging yourself to do something new keeps it fresh. It really keeps me motivated. Now coming back to UTMB, I’m super excited because I wasn’t here last year.
iRunFar: You are a person that needs to have that little bit of excitement or spark or whatever. So what brings you back?
Bosio: What brought me is last year I was at home and I was following along on iRunFar on Twitter—which everybody should do and donate—and I was like starting to feel that FOMO. I wish I was over there! I never really feel that about races that I follow online. Oh, if I feel that sense of “I wish I was there,” then I should go do it again because it means that I still have this joy and passion for it. I definitely do. I love this race.
iRunFar: That feeling, that excitement has held out through the year?
Bosio: Yeah, oh, completely. I knew back the day UTMB ended last year. I have to go back and do that again next year. So I was getting online and looking for apartments.
iRunFar: Do you feel as grounded? Three years ago you just ran your own race and was completely…
Bosio: Yeah, that’s just my racing style in general.
iRunFar: You’re never going to have the problem of wanting to race off the front.
Bosio: Oh, no, especially not this year. It’s like a track meet in the beginning. There’s 170k. That’s a long track meet.
iRunFar: There’s an extra climb. There’s a new climb. They did it last year, but…
Bosio: Yeah. I’m excited. I went over and did it this year. That’s a cool little section. It’s technical and a lot more big rocks to go over. Yeah, I’m looking forward to it. It will be fun and something different.
iRunFar: Best of luck out there, Rory, and have fun.
Bosio: Thanks. Hi Phoenix! Hi, Jax! Hi, Levi! Hi Hazelnut! Hi, Laney! Hi, Stella! Friends back home. All under five. They’re the only friends I have.
iRunFar: Say “hi” to Maya and Norah.
Bosio: Hi, Mya! Hi, Nora! Bonjour!
Bonus Question (for the adults)
iRunFar: Bonus question for you, Rory. What’s your favorite joke?
Bosio: This joke is for the 18 and older.
iRunFar: Maya and Norah, stop watching.
Bosio: What is the difference between a car tire and 365 used condoms?
iRunFar: What is the difference?
Bosio: One was a Goodyear. One was a GREAT year.
Bosio: Why I’m still single. And I pick my nose, too.
iRunFar: There you have it, guys.