In this episode, Veronika takes us on a running tour of Hong Kong!
Originally from Slovakia, Veronika has lived in Asia for the past seven years, initially basing herself in Shanghai before relocating to Hong Kong. After doing the majority of her training on roads in Shanghai due to a lack of mountains/trails in the region, since moving to Hong Kong she has been able to concentrate on her true passion of trail running and recently turned professional.
Veronika runs the trails on Hong Kong Island
Describe the running culture in your city/country in one sentence
Running is the ultimate escape from busy life in a big city and so it has become very popular among locals and expats living here.
Take us on your three favourite 'local' training routes
1) Lunch run to the Peak and High West - Steep road to the Peak followed by even steeper stairs to High West viewpoint. My favourite route if I don't have much time but would like to get an intense uphill/road workout. It is also a great spot for views and an all time favourite tourist spot so can potentially get crowded over the weekend.
2) Twin Peaks - Challenging run starting in a residential part of the city, leading all the way to Stanley beach. This run includes up and down trails and hundreds and hundreds of stairs. Feel free to repeat as many times as you wish! Or alternatively just do it once and finish off at the beach relaxing.
Are you a member of a local running club or group?
There are plenty of running clubs and groups in HK. Hong Kong runners take their training and races very seriously and you can find at least two or three races happening in the city every weekend. The running community here is extremely friendly and welcoming. Despite relocating to Hong Kong only recently I have already met so many supportive and enthusiastic runners who helped me discover different trails and routes in the city.
I am more of a solo runner but of course enjoy having company sometimes. I often train with my other half who is also a strong trail runner so he is definitely helping me to improve and push my limits. He also happens to be the captain of the Uglow Asia Team so I do a lot of running and training together with his team. Lastly, I am also a T8run brand ambassador so I sometimes join their group runs as well.
What is the best place to buy running gear in your city?
Best local race or races?
The most famous race to join for trail runners is the Hong Kong 100 which is an ultra endurance 100km race and part of the prestigious Ultra-Trail® World Tour (UTWT). If you want to run a world class race with international elites this is the race to join.
Another all time favorite is the King of the Hills race series which is special as it is Hong Kong's first and oldest race. The race has a very local vibe and most of the Hong Kong runners join this race series not only to race but also to catch up with each other.
What is a recommended dish and venue to eat after a big run/race?
A pizza party at home with friends is always a nice treat after a long run or race.
Veronika running High West with it's spectacular backdrop
A big thankyou to Veronika for sparing time to take us on a running journey around Hong Kong.
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