Tom Owens jeden z czołowych skyrunnerów w Wielkiej Brytanii w rozmowie z Pawłem Rają. Czy spotkamy się z nim na imprezach w Polsce?
19.10.2019 r. autor: Paweł Raja
Wywiad z Ambasadorem ALE - jednym z czołowych Skyrunnerów w Wielkiej Brytanii. Od ponad 10 lat reprezentuje międzynarodową drużynę Salomona. Na UTMB 2019 zajął 4 miejsce.
Paweł Raja Hi Tom, It has been quite some time since we spoke.TOM OWENS Hey Pawel! Yes it’s been far too long. Last time we met was September 2018 when you were visiting Glencoe Scotland with the Polish team for the World Sky Running Champs.
I believe you have been one of the oldest members (in terms of affiliation) of Salomon international team. How do you manage to maintain top performance for so long?Haha – yes, I’m an old man!! I’ve been representing Salomon since 2008. Initially for adventure racing and then focusing more on trail running. It’s been exciting to see trail and sky running grow over recent years. I feel incredibly lucky to be in this team and still pinch myself.
I really do love the sport and so my motivation is usually high. Running is really my hobby and escapism form work – I think this helps to keep the pressure off & the sport in perspective. I certainly have plenty of bad runs/ races/ injuries over the years – this is all part of running & luckily Salomon understand this.
2020 is already ahead. After a massive success at the UTMB (4th place) I am curious about your plans. Short technical runs or long distance ones?2020 still seems quite a way off for me - I will start planning in the winter months. However, the last couple of years my main motivation has been trying new events – visiting new parts of the world and new distances. I’m less motivated to repeat races I’ve done several times before – life’s too short!!
Will we be able to see you more within Migu Run Skyrunner World Series and Salomon Golden Trail Series or you strive to keep it at home in Scotland? :)Scotland & other hilly parts of the UK have so many classic hill races - many which are new to me with short travel requirements. So, I will continue to explore locally. However, running in higher mountains on global series is also a massive draw – so I hope to choose a few overseas races & find a balance to fit around working life.
This year you start with a change. New team, new partners. Comparing to 2018 it is a huge change. Is it a change of path from being one girl team to international brand with global recognition?In 2018 I didn't have an official sponsor, I joked that I was "team holly page" as I paid my way to the different races... or often hitch hiked! I work in a good job as well in international development programmes around the world so of course I could also afford to pay for things but sometimes it's important to feel valued/recognised. For 2019 I was approached by many different brands and ultimately I have decided to join the Adidas Terrex team and I'm excited to start my journey with them. However, just because I now have a team, I don't want that to change anything in the way I am or my perspective on where running fits into the greater global context. At the end of the day a race is basically just seeing who is the fastest person to run up and down a hill so there's not much point getting too stressed about that. My work and travels in "lesser developed" countries really open your eyes to how lucky we are to be able to run freely without fear of repercussions.
Any plans to come again to Poland?The Sztafeta Górrska relay race I did in April 2018 was my first time to Poland – a brilliant trip. I’d absolutely love to visit Poland for training / racing / exploring. Please let me know suggestions. The B7D – Seven Valley Run. In Krynica –Zdroj looks cool too…
I know you have had a bad ankle for a couple of years. How much is it a constrain especially during the technical courses and how much does it imply your choice of the races?Well researched!! yes the last 2-3 years I’ve had issues with my left ankle and foot. A ruptured tendon & ligament has led to big instability and secondary foot pain. It’s meant that I’ve had to be more careful running on technical terrain – especially descending. I’ve therefore been doing more “runnable” trail races that avoid technical and fast descending (like UTMB!) and avoided some skyrunning.
I love the technical races & descending and will return to them but for now I’m enjoying the new challenges
So I know we have talked before about the nutrition. Holy Page is already a brand Ambassador for Ale Energy. You are joining the brand as well. What moved you into this direction?I was lucky enough to sample a range of Ale products in 2018. I was super impressed by the huge range of nutrition products and super high quality. There is everything you could ever need & will support my endurance sports and general health.
The Ale health programme testing is also a big incentive - to track my health and tailor nutrition accordingly.
What do you expect to achieve (why) with a new nutrition partner?Simple – improvements with training/ racing/ recovery in a natural healthy way
Within the brand we also have a health programme that might support you during the training. So my question is whether now you are tracking / monitoring your health along on your own or is there any professional support?I’m on the ITRA Quartz programme – they test my blood before and after big competitions & then randomly throughout the season. This allows me to track certain health parameters such as haematology. However, it’s general and I’m excited to try more specific health testing with Ale.
Thank you very much for the interview. I hope to meet you live soon and talk longer :)Always a pleasure Pawel – look forward to catching up properly
TOM OWENS :: a short list of successes: