Catching up with Bri Rohne, ultra runner and 34-time marathoner

Bri Rohne is an endurance junkie. With 34 marathons under her belt since 2010, and countless other finishes, Rohne is no stranger to pushing herself and exploring new heights. As an attorney for a biotech company, Rohne describes running as the “great equalizer” in her life, allowing her to show up and be her best self.

Recently, Rohne and her husband moved to the Pacific Northwest from Minnesota. Lately, she’s been exploring the local trails and running routes, exploring all that Portland has to offer. As one of the newer athletes to join Rose City Track Club, we spoke with her about her many running adventures, how she manages to fit running into her busy life, and her message to other athletes seeking to reach their fullest potential.

Tell us about yourself and your connection to the running community

I am really passionate about healthcare and the experiences that individuals have in accessing and receiving healthcare. I worked as a Registered Nurse for 6 years prior to going to law school. As an attorney I have worked in the healthcare space for insurance companies (wasn’t my jam), large healthcare providers and most currently for a biotech company. I am married and my husband Adam is also an attorney. We have three dogs who I love dearly (2 Rhodesian Ridgebacks- Lima and Virgil, and a little pitbull named Frankie). Aside from running I love to go hiking and horseback riding. I’ve been running for many years and have met some of my best friends through the running community. I very much value the camaraderie of a running group and look forward to runs with many of my teammates in the future!

Was there a moment when you decided to dive into the sport, or was it more gradual?

I started running after my mother passed away when I was 9. I’m not sure what drew me to it, but it was a way to clear my head and to feel free from everything else that was going on in the world. I didn’t run cross country or track in high school or college, but I ran consistently throughout all those years. I’m a long distance junkie at heart and I started running marathons in 2010. After 34 marathons I decided to transition over to running on the trails and have since fallen in love with the 50k distance.

How do you balance being an attorney with your commitment to running?

Running has always been the great equalizer in my life so I try to fit my training in around my life as best as I can. Sometimes that means I have to get up much earlier than I want to in order to get my run in, but I never regret doing it. I’ll never forget being in law school full time, working overnight as a nurse and fitting in my run after my shift before classes the next day. I feel like when I run I can show up as the best version of myself both personally and professionally.

It sounds like you’ve gone on all sorts of adventures. Which event stands out for how it challenged you and made you grow as a person and an athlete?

Oh man, I love a good adventure. I will never turn down the opportunity to go to the mountains! If I can combine running with mountains it doesn’t get any better! It’s hard to pick just one event, so I’ll give you my thoughts on two. The first, was the Boston Marathon in 2014. I had run the race the previous year and was downtown when the bombings occurred. Experiencing the resilience and community that emerged after that terrible event was like nothing that I had ever experienced before. To top it off I ran the race with my sister which is always such a joy.

The second event that stands out in my mind is the Jungfrau Marathon in Switzerland. It’s a trail/road combo marathon with the first 16 miles on road and the last 10.2 miles straight up the mountain on trail. It was absolutely stunning and I had the great pleasure of sharing this experience with a very close friend so that made it all the better. I’ve learned that pushing limits with those you care about is what this sport (and life) is really all about.

How do you manage being in the pain cave? Any mantras or techniques?

I’ve never really figured out how to best manage the pain cave in shorter races so if anyone has advice please let me know! In longer races the best advice I can give is to break the race into mentally manageable sections. Sometimes that’s the next aid station or the next mile marker, but sometimes its just trying to get past the person in front of you. I’ve also found it helpful to dedicate each mile to a person that I really care about. It’s better to think of positive memories instead of how much you hurt in the moment.

What’s your message for someone who is just getting started in this sport?

I love nothing more than talking with someone who is new to the sport! I think I’d say that running is a journey that has highs and lows. Always accept and be grateful for where you are in the moment rather than where you think you should be. I’d also say that I have met some of the most wonderful people through running. It’s a really incredible community.

Any goals (life or running related) that you want to share?

I have so many running goals so I will only share a few here. I’d like to run another 50 mile race and to tackle a 100K. Pie in the sky would be to run in any of the UTMB Mount-Blanc races. I’m also planning on running rim-to-rim-to-rim at the Grand Canyon next year. Personally I’d like to continue to advance my career in healthcare by using my prior education and experience to support work that simplifies and expands access to healthcare for the consumer. My long term goal is to have a hobby farm with horses and rescue dogs. My husband is terrified of this goal.

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