Canadian Running

Jeannine Avelino

Community Builder of the Year


For Jeannine Avelino of North Vancouer, the feeling of being one of the people behind the scenes at a race was always enticing—perhaps even more so than chasing a time goal. The 39-year-old video editor, who came to Canada from the Philippine­s with her family in 1995, had never been particular­ly active before getting into running in 2015 after a divorce. Her new partner, Carmen (now her fiancé), a cyclist, was going on a run as part of his training, and she decided to tag along.

“It was a 3 km run, and I wanted to die!” says Avelino. But she tried again the next day, and found it a little easier. Seeing herself improve over time kept her motivated—but she also felt motivated to help others achieve the same feeling, and volunteeri­ng at races became a regular part of her life. “It’s really neat being a volunteer—it’s nice to give back and help out those who are trying to catch their goals, like I did,” says Avelino. “It’s a good feeling to be a part of that.”

Avelino is an ambassador for the 5 Peaks trail series and Canada Running Series (she’s been a pace bunny for the Eastside 10k twice), as well as doing social media for the Moustache Miler, a 5k in Stanley Park to benefit the Movember Foundation. She has also donated her photograph­y and video production services to various loca l races.

Avelino welcomes any opportunit­y to take a new runner into the trails in her Lynn Valley neighbourh­ood. “If I know someone is interested, I’d be happy to show them around and get their feet wet,” she says. “I’m not an aggressive runner, by any means—I’m more of a chatand-have-fun type of runner. Then they end up falling in love with the sport and doing better than me anyway!”

Avelino has raced the Berlin Marathon and the Chicago Marathon, and has even run a couple of ultras (the 2019 Squamish 50k, plus designing her own 50k in 2021 and getting friends to run with her for parts of it). So how does she decide which races to run and which ones to volunteer at? “I have certain goal races in mind,” she says, “but sometimes I just want to be part of the event, if friends are going to be in it. This Saturday there’s a race in my neighbourh­ood, for example. I know a few people going, and I have a few hours to kill Saturday— maybe I can hang out for a bit and marshal.”

 ?? ?? Jeannine Avelino on course at the Berlin Marathon
Jeannine Avelino on course at the Berlin Marathon

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