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Allure Of The Trails: How Jeannine Avelino Found Passion and Purpose in Running

Allure Of The Trails: How Jeannine Avelino Found Passion and Purpose in Running Run Tri Bike
Jeannine Avelino
Year started: 2013
Next race: May 5th, 2024 / BMO Vancouver Half Marathon / Vancouver, BC, CA
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Photo Credit: Ty Holtan

Jeannine Avelino’s journey into running began in late 2013. It became a pivotal moment that would shape her path as a runner, photographer, and community leader. Her initiation into trail running was sparked by curiosity and the allure of adventure. Jeannine reminisces, “My first marathon was in 2016. And I also started trail running that year by doing the 5 Peaks races.” The allure of the trails, captured in photographs of friends, beckoned her and her husband to Mount Seymour, marking the beginning of a thrilling yet challenging endeavor.

Despite initial uncertainties, Jeannine found joy in the trail’s embrace. “We showed up at the mountain, and it was foggy and cold… But we had a lot of fun, and that was what hooked us.” This initial eight-kilometer race laid the foundation for a journey marked by resilience, camaraderie, and personal growth.

Navigating Challenges: The Grit Behind the Glitz

Jeannine’s journey, like many non-elite athletes, has been punctuated by challenges and setbacks. Acknowledging her position as a back-of-the-packer, she shares candidly, “Training for any long run hurts for a longer time for me… because I am out there longer.” Injuries, including recent ankle problems, tested her resolve, particularly during the Squamish 50 races, where timing and perseverance played pivotal roles.

Her account of the 2023 race, filled with physical and mental hurdles, echoes the allure of the trails for trail runners. Despite these setbacks, Jeannine’s determination shines through. Those hurdles disappeared as she neared the finish line. Jeannine pointed out a realization: “That last ten kilometers was a mental test… trying to push myself to the finish because I knew I was close.”

The Heart of Endurance: Why She Keeps Going

What keeps athletes like Jeannine coming back despite how hard this stuff is? Her answer lies in the rewards of accomplishment, community, and shared experiences. “I just like accomplishing something… and I like supporting other people, and I like that they support me.” This symbiotic relationship with the running community underscores the value of inclusivity and mutual encouragement.

As a trail leader and ambassador for running events, Jeannine embodies the spirit of giving back. Her involvement extends beyond personal achievements, focusing on cultivating a welcoming environment for newcomers and seasoned runners alike. “We just want to make it fun…we run and we also socialize afterwards.”


Lessons From the Trail: Patience and Present Moments

Beyond the physical exertion and race milestones, endurance sports have gifted Jeannine with profound life lessons. “Endurance sports teach us a lot about ourselves… Just take it slow if you need to… focus on what’s in front of you.” This mantra of mindfulness and patience resonates deeply, bridging the gap between sporting challenges and everyday life’s complexities.

Getting through the digital age’s constant bombardment, Jeannine emphasizes the importance of a patient mindset amidst long-term goals. “I just use it to motivate myself… I wish that people posted more about what went wrong rather than what went right.” Her approach underscores a balance between motivation from others’ achievements and personal growth through setbacks and learnings.

Capturing the Journey: The Lens of Inspiration

Jeannine’s role as a photographer adds another dimension to her journey. Behind the lens, she captures not just images but narratives of resilience, passion, and human connection. “I like doing that for others because I like when other people do that for me… I’m giving back.”

Her insights into the art of photography during races reveal a blend of professionalism and empathy. Jeannine is on the course capturing the highlights but there are also lowlights such as crashes and flats. It is in those moments when her inner athlete comes to the forefront. “I made sure to get that shot… but also made me think, oh, maybe next time I photograph a bike race, I should have some spare tubes with me.”

Promoting Diversity: The Trail Running Film Festival

Jeannine’s involvement in the Trail Running Film Festival, with Adam Lee, and community events like the Moustache Miler exemplifies her dedication to promoting diversity, storytelling, and growth within the running community. When it comes to the Mustache Miler, Jeannine reflects on the event with a smile saying, “It’s just a different vibe. People wear glow accessories and celebrate with a beer afterwards.” Fun was also a word that she used when describing her work with Adam and running in general.

Her commitment extends to initiatives that celebrate inclusivity and highlight everyday athletes’ remarkable journeys, echoing her belief that showcasing diverse narratives enriches and expands the sport’s reach.

A Message of Inspiration: Starting the Journey

For those getting started, Jeannine offers sage advice: “Take that first step. Embrace the challenges, celebrate the victories, and find joy in the community. It’s not about speed or distance; it’s about the passion that fuels your journey.”

Jeannine Avelino’s story epitomizes the spirit of trail and ultra running. The allure of the trails started her journey of growth, community, and unwavering determination. In her footsteps, many find inspiration, reminding us that every stride, no matter how humble, is a testament to the human spirit’s resilience.

Allure Of The Trails: How Jeannine Avelino Found Passion and Purpose in Running Run Tri Bike
Photo Credit: Javelinomedia
Allure Of The Trails: How Jeannine Avelino Found Passion and Purpose in Running Run Tri Bike
Photo Credit: Javelinomedia