An interview with Rory Bosio

Rory Bosio introduced herself to the ultra running scene by winning the Ultra-Trail Du Mont-Blanc on her first attempt in 2013. To banish any accusations of beginner’s luck, she went and won it again in 2014. Despite being at the top of her game, Rory likes to keep things simple and makes her training as fun as possible by mixing skiing, hiking, yoga… and the odd Beer Mile. Here’s what she had to say when we caught up with her:

rory bosio
rory bosio
rory bosio
- What inspired you to start running?

Immersing myself in the natural world and discovering the beauty of Mother Nature is my number one inspiration to run, it’s my favourite way to travel thru the world. 

- What made you want to take on the GR 20 trail in particular?

The GR 20 is heralded as the toughest trail in Europe, which immediately appealed to my sense of adventure. I Ike a challenge! I was also instantly attracted to the beauty of Corsica. It’s such a majestic island. 

- What was the hardest part of that race?

From mile 90-110 I hit a rough patch. I was having what felt like an asthma attack and was very bonky (low on energy and light headed). But I powered through and, after a 2 hour nap, I was able to finish the last 15 miles relatively quickly. 

- What kept you going through those moments?

A strong desire to complete the trail. I knew in my bones that I could do it, I just needed to dig deep to finish it. 

- Other than biking up Donner Summit and paddle boarding, how else do you prepare for a run like this?

Lots of time on the trails! Probably 25-35 hours of running per week for the 6-8 weeks leading up to the run. 

- What 3 words would you use to describe the 118 mile run?

Steep, magical, joyful.

- What goes through your mind when you’re running?

Anything and everything! I daydream, think about current world events and mull over the big issues... Although sometimes I try not to think and just absorb the beauty of my surroundings instead. 

- What was the best piece of gear you had with you on your trip?

My Hyper-air Gore-Tex jacket: the ultimate stow-able waterproof jacket. I always carry it with me, since it packs up so small, but it really is a lifesaver when caught in a rain storm. Superb product.

- Can you describe how you felt when you finished the run?

Finishing the GR 20 trail was the most satisfying, deeply emotional feeling I’ve ever experienced. I was so happy to complete what was and still is the hardest physical and mental challenge in my life to date. To put so much effort and planning into something and not know if I would be able to finish it was really daunting. But then actually completing it was the proudest I’d ever felt. Running the entire GR 20 trail means more to me than winning any race ever will. 

- What advice would you give to someone who wanted to take on the GR 20?

Go for it! DREAM BIG!! Then put in the time and effort and keep a positive attitude. 

- In support of the #SheMovesMountains initiative, which female role model in your life has inspired you to Move Mountains?

The majority of my role models in life are women. From my mom, to my sisters and friends, I am surrounded my spectacular females. My mom is my biggest inspiration though, she’s the reason I do all of these crazy runs.

- What advice would you give to young women? 

You are only limited by your mind. If you open your mind to possibilities and keep an optimistic attitude, work hard and dream big, achieving your goals is do-able!

- And finally, what’s your next personal challenge?

The sky’s the limit! I want to continue exploring the world on my own two feet, immersing myself more and more in the majesty of Mother Nature.


Watch the full story on Rory’s GR 20 adventure in Running On Empty now:


Running On Empty

Running On Empty