Robyn Owen has used her multisport abilities to become an adventure racer and used some crazy races as excuses to see fantastic places. Robyn has rekindled her relationship with Best 4 as an ambassador for their new supplement range Best 4 Sports. She has qualified and registered as a mountain guide and launched For the Love of Adventure, where she guides hiking and trail running adventures around Stellenbosch and the Western Cape, in partnership with husband Mike. All that, and she’s only 26.
I was born and grew up in Pietermaritzburg. There is a big outdoor culture in the Natal Midlands.
The schools in the area all place lots of emphasis on sport. Epworth, the school I went to, was particularly excellent in the adventure sport opportunities it gave us as teenage girls. I think that the confidence we gained through participation in outdoor endurance sports in our youth rolled over into all other aspects of life.
I was quite a competitive paddler from pretty soon after I started the sport. As a ‘promising young junior’ I was very lucky to receive sponsored equipment from Kayak Centre and MaxPaddles.
I also competed in some local multisport events as a teenager and was a part of Team Jeep South Africa who helped us out with kit, entries, and a lot of good advice.
While at university I was a member of the Best 4 Kayak Centre semi-professional paddling team, and then was very fortunate to have the ongoing support of Best 4 as I branched out into trail running too. With sponsors covering my race costs (and a student bursary for living expenses) I could save the generous prize money for travels and adventures.
I tend to take life too seriously. It’s a character flaw. I’m working on being more light-hearted.
Exploring the beautiful mountains in the Western Cape is one of my favourite things to do.
It’s really playing more than training, but I don’t think that adding a heart-rate monitor and fitting it to a programme would make it any more effective.
At the moment the majority of my ‘training’ is on foot, though not always running.
I run for an hour or two a few times a week, but longer sessions are normally hiking and scrambling.
I try fit in as much paddling and cycling as I can too.
I’d be lying if I said I manage to find a balance. It’s more of a perpetual three-dimensional wobbly see-saw ride.
At the moment I am loving the time I spend on my feet, I’m quite enjoying my bike, and I’m really needing to dig deep for motivation to get into my boat. But those motivation levels change all the time.
More trails in the mix
I am really enjoying trail running at the moment and am keen to do a few more events.
Finishing SkyRun is a goal I haven’t yet ticked off. I’d also love to try a few of the international Skyrunner Extreme events.
I’m still not a dedicated runner though, and will mix up trail events with adventure races, multisport, the odd paddling race, and maybe some MTB events.
I’d like to give the Otter another good effort in the other direction next year and see if I can go even faster.
There’s much more to elite multisporter Robyn Owen. Read about her family, the loss of her mother, and how she has avoided a nine-to-five on page 36 of TRAIL 22! Her husband, Mike, explains how they met, and what they got up to on their year of traveling on page 38.