Tom Owens is the second favorite by ITRA performance index (912) for winning Ultra Trail World Championship (the last year winner, Luis Alberto, has 921 points).

In 2017, Salomon athlete finished the 5th at CCC (UTMB race), the 17th at Transvulcania, the 8th at Pirineu Marathon and the 15th at Long Distance Mountain Running Championship.

4run.ro: I know that you made already Penyagolosa route, in training, to better understand each kilometer. How this felt to you?
Tom Owens:  Yes, we looked at the course over two days a few weeks ago. It’s pretty dry and rocky but with lots of fast running. Quite different to running in the UK where it tends to be steep, wet & muddy.

How well this distance, 85k with +4.900m, fits you?
It’s longer than I am comfortable with but I like a challenge!

UK team seems the favorite one for the 1st place (you are the second favorite if we look at ITRA points and your teammate Albon is the third). Who do you think that your main team contenders are?
Yes UK has a very strong men’s and women’s team. Hopefully we can work together and pull each other along! And hopefully some of us will have a really good day! I’ve not looked at the entrance in detail. But I know the Spanish, French & USA teams will all be strong.

An interview with his teammate Tom Evans (in Romanian), HERE!

How the training for this race went?
Training has gone well thanks. It’s been difficult in the UK with the long winter and bad weather but we’ve managed a couple of trips to warmer climates and have got in a few longer runs.

How different is a World Trail Championship from a race like CCC, or UTMB, or Zegama?
All of the races you’ve listed get quality runners and there is a lot of overlap. However the championships are extra important – to compete for your country is really special.

You think that the favorites will start very fast from the beginning or will form a pack and in the last 20-10 km it will be attacks?
Yes, I think the race will start fast. These big races always do. Maybe some people can hang on too but I think there will be a lot of ”explosions”.

(Photo: Tom Owens Facebook & DROZ PHOTO)