By Paul Burton

BOSTON (CBS) – The passion and energy from 50-year-old running coach Gael Henville is contagious and inspiring.

Henville has been running since she was only eight years old. Now, Henville has been named a member of the Boston Athletic Association’s Honorary Marathon team for her longstanding commitment as a dedicated runner and coach in the Boston community.

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“I’ve ran through 22 of Boston’s 23 neighborhoods, and for years, I have always wanted to have other runners in the city with me, particularly women of color,” Henville said.

She also serves a coach for the Road to Wellness 5K, a community-based event sponsored by the BAA that offers free introductory training clinics and brings together runners from all different backgrounds and abilities.

On Saturday, she ran alongside members from the Dimock Center in Roxbury.

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Dimock Center Chief Development Officer Raquel Rosenblatt describes the center as “a predominately low-income community” that provides “comprehensive health, mental health support and education.”

Whether she is training, coaching or simply inspiring others, Henville believes running not only gets her into great shape, but also gives her purpose.

“When you come and train people who are struggling with addiction, it brings you back down to earth and to great clarity. It’s transformative,” Henville said. 

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Even with all the lives she helped make better, she still considers herself an average runner with a servant’s heart.

Paul Burton