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Mountain Mom: Missy Gosney
50, Durango, Colo.
“Be consistent. I hit the trails every day, for training and because it’s what I love to do, even if it’s just to take my dog for a walk.”
While she’s taken to mountain and trail running, it wasn’t always Missy Gosney’s focus. In fact, the 50-year-old former Outward Bound instructor didn’t run her first ultra until she was 43—but she’s been collecting top finishes ever since. Her husband, Brett, who is also an ultrarunner, inspired Gosney to race. Now the two frequently train together, something Gosney considers more playing in the mountains than training.
“Cruising around in the mountains is perfect for me,” says Gosney, who taught high school math and science before retiring to spend more time with her 15-year-old son. “I don’t run mountains to go fast. I do it to explore, travel on new trails and spend time with my husband and friends.”
Gosney says recovery is critical when it comes to running big mountain races. After placing second in the grueling, 100-mile Andorra Ultra Trail Ronda Del Cims in 2016, which she plans to run again this summer, Gosney was on a post-recovery run with her husband when two fluke missteps and an old injury resulted in a broken leg. The break required surgery, permanent hardware and five weeks on crutches. Gosney approached recovery just like she does after a race, with plenty of physical therapy, dry needling and micro current treatments, things she also does as part of regular maintenance during big training phases.
When Gosney isn’t running, she loves to backcountry ski, a passion she shares with her son. She touts the benefits of cross training, using kickboxing, lifting and HIIT-style workouts for functional strength. But the true essence of her running success is the inspiration she gets from her family and being out in the mountains. “You can take the girl out of the mountains, but you can’t take the mountains out of the girl,” she says.
“Having a goal, loving what you can do each day to work toward your goal and showing the best person you can be are it for me,” Gosney says. “One of my biggest goals is to make sure my kid looks at me every once in a while and thinks, ‘My mom rocks it.’ That, and keeping up with Brett.”