This winter’s featured trail runner is Jeannine Avelino. Jeannine is a video editor for a factual TV series in Vancouver.  Outside of trail running, she likes to go for walks or hikes with her husband and their dog. Jeannine is a self-professed foodie as well and loves checking out different restaurants in the city. Occasionally, she gets behind the lens, photographing cyclocross or running races for fun.

How did you get into trail running?

I’ve been seeing running friends post about trail running for some time. So my husband and I decided to sign up for the 5 Peaks race in Mt. Seymour in 2016. 5 Peaks is known for more beginner-friendly races, so I thought it was a good idea. We showed up at the start line in deep fog and colder than usual temperatures in the middle of June. Luckily, I had way too much fun despite the circumstances, got hooked, and signed up for more trail races to try.

What is your favorite trail to run on?

You can find me on the North Shore trails around Grouse to Seymour. I love how varied the trail network is, and you can design your route to be as easy or as hard as you want. But if I had to pick one trail I love, it would be the Twin Bridges Trail to Fisherman’s to Homestead loop in Lynn Valley. It’s a fairly easy loop but with a steep climb at the end. Bridle Path along the bottom of Mt. Seymour is also pretty fun and a nice way to get from Seymour to Lynn Valley. My favorite downhills are also on Mt. Seymour: Good Sir Martin, Dales/Forever After, and Hyannis trail that goes back down to Fisherman’s. These trails have enough technicality for me to maintain some sort of momentum without scaring me… essentially, a safer adrenaline rush.

What is your favorite trail race?

The Squamish 50 is my favorite trail weekend… not just a race. The race itself is great, it’s challenging, and it usually has lots of support from volunteers and race organizers.. but I really do come for the weekend. Saturday is the 50-mile race and a source of inspiration. Sitting at the finish line cheering people coming through is the best way to get psyched for my Sunday race, the 50k. In my opinion, it’s the marquee event of the summer for local trail runners.

Jeannine’s First Trail Race – 5 Peaks Mt. Seymour (Rob Shaer Photography)

What are your weekly average running miles and ascent?

Based on this year’s training, I average about 30-40 km per week (at my peak training weeks, it’s 50-70 km per week) and 1,000 m to 1,500 m of ascent per week… which I think will increase in 2023 because I clearly needed more ascent training this year.

What is a typical weekday run?

A typical weekday run is usually on the road or a shorter trail run, no more than an hour. Sometimes a track workout is incorporated.

What is a typical weekend run?

Weekends are for trail adventures. I try to go for one long one (2-3+ hours) and one short one (1 to 2 hours). Sometimes I go solo, but I never say no to some company.

What shoes do you wear?

I wear the Salomon Sense Ride 4. They are quite light but still feel cushiony. The Sense Rides have been pretty consistent, and I’ve bought several iterations of it.

What is your favorite trail running apparel?

I go back and forth between Saucony and Salomon. I love Salomon’s shirts, waterproof jackets, and trail running vests because they fit me well and function as they should (so it’s one less worry). Saucony has some great apparel as well, namely tights, shorts, and some shirts. The best part about the tights are the phone pockets. Anything that keeps me from using a running belt is a good thing.

What watch do you wear?

I’m currently wearing a Suunto, but I think I’m leaning toward Garmin. I do like my Suunto 9. It looks stylish, has a long battery life, and it does record my workouts well. However, I do miss Garmin Connect and how easy it was to create custom workouts. I think Suunto has taken steps to match this, but I still prefer Garmin’s interface. I still have yet to try Coros though and am intrigued about its functionality and low price point.

Survival of the Fittest (Ty Holtan Photography)

What nutrition do you like to use on runs and races?

I go back and forth between Nuun and Skratch, depending on the length of my workout. I use Skratch on the longer runs for the calories and Nuun for the shorter runs. I do like to bring real food for long trail runs, like ham and cheese sandwiches, potato chips, and sometimes candies.

What do you like most about the trail running community?

The trail running community supports each other like no other. People are out there to make sure everyone is having fun, crushing their goals, and making sure the events run smoothly. I love how many people are there for the community first and are usually volunteering when they’re not racing.

Jeannine’s own Backyard Ultra with friends in 2021. (Dave Mallari Photography.)

Jeannine writes about running around Vancouver and more with her blog Everything But Weddings.  You can also follow Jeannine’s trail running adventures on Instagram and Strava.
Featured photo credits: 1) Squamish 50 Brian McCurdy Photography 2) 5 peaks Whistler Rob Shaer Photography.
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