My Favorite Things: Rory Bosio

Rory Bosio says her favorite type of workout is destination running. Photo: Tim Kemple

This California-based professional ultrarunner is always on her feet whether she’s training, working as a pediatric intensive care nurse, or skiing.

Last summer, Rory Bosio set a new record in the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, a 104-mile trail race across France, Italy, and Switzerland that sends runners around the highest mountains in the Alps. She returned in 2014 and won it again.

When a professional athlete turns in an impressive race, some people may chalk it up to part of the job—it’s what they do for a living. But this 29-year-old is an atypical professional athlete. Besides training for ultra races around the world, she also spends 24 to 36 hours on her feet each week as a pediatric intensive care nurse.

“That’s definitely a challenge,” says the Truckee, Calif., resident. “I don’t run on the days that I work, unless it’s my first day on, just because I’m on my feet for 12 hours.”

Her training approach is odd for a professional runner: She rarely wears a watch, she doesn’t use a GPS or keep track of her mileage, and in the winter, she usually only runs two to three times a week to make room for all types of skiing: cross-country, downhill, and backcountry.

“I should be better about keeping track of it to look at things, but I just can’t be bothered,” she says with a laugh.

However, Bosio’s training is far from careless or unplanned. She gets in those super-long runs just like most ultrarunners do, as well as intervals and other race-specific workouts.

“I mentally keep track in my head—I need to do this type of workout,” she explains.

RELATED: 5 Questions With Trail Queen Rory Bosio

But she’s not the type of athlete who’ll go do a workout just because it’s time to do that type of workout. “If I’m tired, I just won’t do it.”

In August, Bosio will likely find herself toeing the line again at the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc—she’s got it penciled into her schedule.

How she’ll perform there is anyone’s guess. But now that she’s got last year’s race under her belt, fans of the event could be in for something special. Indeed, Bosio says last year her only goal was to finish, and she felt intimidated by the course and distance. In the end, she sliced more than 2 hours off the previous record and became the first woman to finish in the top 10.

“Beyond finishing, everything else was icing on the cake,” she says.

Here Are A Few Of Her Favorite Things

Favorite training shoe: The North Face Ultra Smooth and the Ultra Guide.

Favorite local place to run: The loop around Castle Peak near Donner Summit.

“In the summer, it’s one of the best places for wildflowers I’ve ever seen.”

Favorite local race: Great Ski Race, a 30K cross-country ski race from Tahoe City to Truckee. thegreatskirace.com

Favorite piece of gear: The North Face Winter Runners gloves.

“If my hands are warm, everything else is kind of gravy.”

Favorite race fuel: Sweet potatoes.

“It’s the one thing that has never upset my stomach.”

Favorite piece of running clothing: The North Face Eat My Dust running skirt and Feather Lite storm blocker jacket.

“If I have [the jacket] in my backpack, I never worry about being caught out in a storm.”

Favorite type of cross-training: Cranking out a 30-minute ride on her beat-up beach cruiser up a hill while wearing flip-flops, board shorts and a bikini top.

Favorite workout: “Destination running,” or putting enough food in your pack and running a big loop with a destination, such as a mountain peak or lake, in mind.

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