Rory Bosio wins prestigious ultramarathon in record-setting performance
Rory Bosio is a relative neophyte to her sport. Yet in four short years competing in ultramarathons, the 28-year-old North Tahoe High School grad has established herself as one of the elite athletes in the ultrarunning world.
Bosio not only won what is considered to be one of the most challenging single-stage ultramarathons on the planet — The North Face Ultra Trail du Mont-Blanc in Chamonix, France, this past weekend — she crushed the women’s record by more than 2 hours.
The Soda Springs resident was the top woman and seventh overall in a field of roughly 2,200 athletes, posting a time of 22 hours, 37 minutes, 26 seconds over the 168-kilometer (104-plus-mile), high-elevation course. Bosio could not be reached for comment.
Nuria Picas Albets of Spain was the next woman finisher, placing 19th overall in 24:32:20. Emma Roca Rodriguez, also of Spain, was the third woman in 24:48:14.
Xavier Thevenard of France won the overall in 20:34:57, while Timothy Olson of Ashland, Ore., winner of the past two Western States (100-mile) Endurance Runs from Squaw Valley to Auburn, was the top American in fourth place, in 21:38:23. American Michael Foote was fifth in 21:53:19. Olson, Foote and Bosio are all North Face-sponsored athletes.
Starting and ending in Chamonix, the Ultra Trail du Mont-Blanc course passes through three countries — France, Italy and Switzerland — while following a hiking-path loop around Mont Blanc. The route normally takes hikers seven to nine days to complete, with steep climbs and descents, multiple passes over 8,000 feet, and a total gain of more than 32,000 feet in elevation.
Bosio’s performance drew praise from other ultrarunners in the Truckee-Tahoe area.
“She won the most prestigious race in the world,” said Truckee’s Betsy Nye, winner of many ultramarathons herself. “… She is like a gold medal holder.”
“(It was a) big performance in the ultra world,” said Truckee ultrarunner Peter Fain.
Bosio has competed in a total of 17 ultras, five of which were 100-milers. She ran her first 100-mile race in 2010, when she finished fourth among women in the Western States Endurance Run. She’s competed in Western States each year since, finishing as high as second in 2012. She’s never placed worse than fifth in the well-known ultramarathon.
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Students frustrated at the cancellation of sports waved signs and delivered speeches at a Truckee High School protest in an attempt to return to the field this year.