Inspired by childhood tales of her father’s running days, Vic Izzy Owens, aka The Happy Runner, often dreamed of running fast along the pavements of London, her hometown.
However it wasn’t until much later in life, in 2017, when she lived in North Wales that Vic decided to take up running and started training for the Manchester Marathon. Upon completing Manchester Marathon she decided to explore local trails and a few months later took on the brutal Excalibur Marathon. It took her almost double the time she expected, but with steep climbs and stunning views, Vic knew she had found what she was looking for. By the end of that year she smiled the entire way through her first ultra, Rat Race’s The Wall, 69 miles along Hadrian’s Wall, and started her ultra running journey.
In September 2017, Vic took on what she calls ‘her first real run’, the King Offa’s Dyke race: 185 miles from Chepstow to Prestatyn. Before this point she has only ran 69 miles. That year Vic was the only female finisher, and with tired navigation errors made the run 200.2 miles. Mentally and physically exhausted she crossed the finish line and vowed never to run again. This vow lasted about a week. Vic completed King Offa’s Dyke again in 2019 smashing her previous time by 3 hours.
In 2018, Vic enjoyed running with Ultra Great Britain and completed Chester 100 as second female. Feet in blisters and incredibly sore, she vowed never to wear running trainers again. This time it was a vow she kept and upon returning home she binned her high spec trainers and traded them in for Luna Sandals and Vibram Five Fingers. Now she mixes minimalist footwear up with her barefoot running and to date has run marathon distances fully barefoot.
In 2019, Vic took on The Monarchs Way and spent 5 days on the trails running further then she has ever run before. It was the most amazing humbling experience of Vic’s running to date. She returned to take on The Monarchs Way on her own with some very dedicated crew in August 2020 and completed the golden route, running the entire 625 miles and visiting all the required historical points. Not only did she become the first women to compete the route in its entirety but she took days off the male FKT and is still to this date the current FKT holder.
In 2020, Vic was a team captain for the IndoorRelay, and used lockdown to help people stay active within the boundaries of their own homes and connect with runners outside her normal circle.
Despite lockdown, Vic ran her highest mileage month ever, running the 19in19 (19 miles a day for 19 miles) using mostly her treadmill and zwift. That month as well as the 19in19 Vic took on a garden ultra, running 2,720 loops around her back garden, racking up 68miles.
That wasn’t the only lockdown craziness Vic did. In January 2021 she ran an ultra every single day. Vic ran 32 miles a day every day for the entire month of January, except for the last day, when on the 31st of January she finished off her month with a smashing 40miles bringing the months total to 1000 miles! Vic supported the stay local lockdown rules by never leaving Denbigh, the town where she lives. At no one point was she ever more then two miles from her house.
Barefoot running and switching to a plant-based diet has changed Vic’s running. Connecting to the ground and to her environment is of primal importance.
On Saturday mornings, you will find Vic down at her local Parkrun in Conwy as a guide runner for her younger brother, Alexander, who lives with severe brain damage. During the week, she enjoys running Canicross with her Springer Spaniel Bella and doing family-run nights with her two children Sophie and Olly.
Vic has also become part of The Barefoot Crew 5k that promotes a weekly, on every Thursday, a 5k barefoot run. The barefoot crew gang encourage people worldwide to get involved, try out and increase their barefoot running. #barefootcrew5k
Why is ultra running so special to Victoria? “Placing your feet on a path of adventure is vital for the soul, each step moves you closer to a moment of truth, a moment of rawness, a moment of peace. People you meet in those moments shape and change your life. Pace is irrelevant, if you run then you are a runner. Be kind to yourself. Enjoy your moments”