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#SheEmpowers: Finding Runner's High with Veronika Vadovicova

#SheEmpowers Series | To celebrate International Women's Day, we speak to four trailblazing women on how they are helping women find self-empowerment in various aspects of their lives.

March 8, 2022

Runner's high—a boost of endorphins creating a state of euphoria in which many find peace, solace and energy. For our first #SheEmpowers piece, we speak to Veronika Vadovicova, one of Hong Kong's most acclaimed trail runners and founder of female trail running community Asia Trail Girls, on how she finds empowerment in feeling physically and mentally strong.


When did you start trail running and why?

I did my first trail run during a race in China end of 2017. I knew nothing about trail running, but I was a decent runner and I was excited about the idea of running free in the nature. Since this very first experience, I fell in love with it!

Running offers empowerment on so many levels, what sense of empowerment do you personally gain from it?

Whenever I run on trails I feel like I can achieve anything. The feeling of freedom and being unstoppable is really empowering. Running does not only make me strong physically but also mentally—I am often able to find solutions to many of my problems while on the run and get a fresh perspective on things. Running enables me to clear my mind and feel positive—no matter what struggles I deal with on that day.

Photo: Asia Trail Master

You’ve won many world-renowned races, can you talk about your mental and physical journey leading up to a race?

Haha not really that many races so far. I definitely made a lot of progress since I joined the first one, both physically and mentally.

For the physical part I am a more mature trail runner. I know what to expect from my body, I know how to pace myself and what to do if my body is giving me different signs throughout the race. (When I first started I simply pushed from the very start without thinking of how I will feel after 30/40k. Thinking back I was a bit crazy pushing myself to the limit without proper training and knowledge of my own body.)

Mentally it’s also been a progress that only comes with experience. Now I know exactly what to expect during a race. There are lots of high and low moments. I am definitely better prepared to handle the low ones.

Are there certain types of trails that make you feel particularly accomplished after finishing them?

I think any new landscape and terrain bring new challenges and a bigger accomplishment of finishing it as opposed to trails where you practice on a regular basis. One of my biggest accomplishments was finishing a high altitude trail in China—running at 4,000m+ was really tough!

What made you start Asia Trail Girls and how are you hoping to inspire women?

I noticed how few women I met in Asia during races and I wanted to start something that will show all women out there how amazing trail running is and how much women can achieve in this sport. We are stronger than men in so many ways! Empowering and encouraging women to start practicing, to keep at it, and to inspire one another with our own accomplishments is what Asia Trail Girls is here for.