Hello Tim, can you please introduce yourself quickly?
Hey, I am pretty bad at keeping it brief, but here is an effort at keeping this short – Tim Rossi, born and raised and currently in NYC. Co-founder of the Lostboys Track Club, runner (with the marathon being my favorite distance, but I run everything and everything), former soccer/baseball/football/basketball player. And ice cream lover.
Is running part of your job, or are you working in a totally different environment?
It is definitely tied to my job – I currently work for Nike in Chicago (though I have been home in NYC for most of covid) and started running in 2011 when I worked in a Nike Running store. But it is definitely part of who I am broadly and something I use as an outlet to get away from the stresses of life, work included, on occasion. I would say runner me and work overlap from time to time, though, which I love.
You're a strong and fast runner. Would you say that you have innate qualities or that you are a hard worker?
First off, appreciate it. I think I had a solid foundation before I started running from my soccer days – I played wing-back and ran a ton during games. But I think one of the amazing things with running is that you still need to put the work in, no matter how talented you are. And running also tends to very clearly show your progress when you work hard. I mean, you train hard for a while, and you get faster; it is very tangible. I think the quote, "hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard," sums it up nicely. I lean into this and very much enjoy the process of training and pushing myself with friends.
Are you the Lostboys founder? Can you explain us who are the Lostboys? Why do you define yourself as lost?
Yeah, my buddy Jeremy Mulvey and I started the crew in 2014 mainly because we wanted to put a team name down when we registered for some local races. The name comes from the Lostboys in Peter Pan, and we lean into the "Lostboys never grow up" vibe. In essence, when you're young, you don't understand limitations and dream big, but for whatever reason, as you grow up, that mindset shifts. We couldn't understand why people stopped dreaming and have leaned into holding onto and chasing these massive goals. And at the same time, we want to show that you can have fun while doing this; you can take your goals seriously and not take yourself overly seriously. The beauty of this is that, regardless of your ability level, these vibes carry through the entire sport of running from the elites to people who haven't started running yet. This shared pursuit of potential and love for the sport brings all the Lostboys together and is the reason anyone can be lost if they want to be.
I specifically consider myself Lost because my goals within the sport are things that people generally would laugh at. Like, I have aggressive goals for my current ability level. But I truly think I've only scratched the surface, and I am gonna have one hell of a good time committing myself to and chasing after those goals. Just because you have a full-time job and other commitments doesn't mean I can't do big things.
You ran (you won?) the Speed Project, how was it, would you recommend it?
Man, TSP was one of the absolutely coolest running experiences I have ever been a part of. I am a competitive person and loved getting the W and trying to push the limits of the event. Still, I think the opportunity to take it slightly more casually is also awesome (as casual as an ultra-relay can be, I guess). There is just something magical about hammering through the middle of the desert at 3 in the morning, having already run 30+ miles over the course of like 20 hours. I'd 100% recommend it, but I would just note that you need to prepare for and understand that it will wreck your body. If you accept that, it is an amazing time. And the afterparty makes it even more worth it.
You have run in many races; what is your best memory, and what race do you dream of doing one day?
This question is so tough, so I will cheat a bit and give a few answers. The easiest one is my 2018 NYC Marathon – it is my hometown race, and I had a big breakthrough, running 2:31 (my PR entering the race was 2:46) after a slew of bone fractures in 2016 and 2017. But there is something special about those long relays (I also love Hood to Coast) or races where I've paced friends to massive PRs. Being part of those experiences and doing it with others is always a great time. But if it needs to be 1, it can be the NYC Marathon.
For races that I dream of doing, the London Marathon is top of the list. My mom is from England, and we have a lot of family there, so that would be fun. But I am also very intrigued by Comrades Marathon in South Africa as well as a few races in Japan. The culture behind those races is special, so I'd love to line up in those one day.
You are in Nike from head to toe, and you regularly wear preview products. What is your relationship with the swoosh?
I think I noted it above, but I work for Nike, so I'd say the relationship is pretty tight. But I will note that I truly love our stuff – my first pair of running shoes were Nike's, but I was also a Nike guy when I played soccer growing up (I wore T90s, though they were a take-down version because I needed them inexpensive cleats).
Which product has impressed you the most lately?
So I had 3 bone fractures from running too much in 2016 and 2017, so when Nike released the Vaporfly, I was a massive fan because it was a shift from minimally cushioned racing shoes to lots of softness and foam – my body NEEDS that. Seeing all these super cushioned, super-fast shoes hit the roads has been awesome and very welcome from my POV (I hate being hurt). Recently the Alphafly has been a big one for me, but also the Dragonfly for the track.
In a world where Nike wouldn't exist, what would you run with?
Man, I just wouldn't run, hahaha – but I think the apparel side is a fun one for real. I will take this idea a bit sideways because I love all these brands merging fashion and running. The culture of the sport is exciting, and I love that stuff, specifically cotton versions of it. BUT my skin does not enjoy running in cotton – I do it occasionally, but it isn't great if I do it consistently. So in this world without Nike, ideally, my skin would be able to handle cotton, and I'd just rock various versions of your city tees or Noah's winged foot product or Sauri all the time.
Thanks a lot for your time. Who do you think we should interview for our next portrait?