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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Warnambool Gift

Warnambool Gift

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1 Warnambool Gift on Thu Oct 15, 2015 6:57 pm


New place for the gift this year. More entries? How many people to do the double?

2 Re: Warnambool Gift on Thu Oct 15, 2015 8:42 pm


welcome back mex. any whispers who is flying this pre season? been vry quiet here

3 Re: Warnambool Gift on Fri Oct 16, 2015 10:12 am


Thanks for the article Mex.

Nice to see the mention of the late Jayne McMeel who sadly passed away last year.

Jayne's husband Carl is of course a great supporter of the pro-running circuit.

Here's a wonderful tribute from last year's Warrnambool Standard about Jayne McMeel.

Warrnambool Gift tribute to Jayne McMeel

Warrnambool Standard
Nov. 29, 2014

JAYNE McMeel preferred to be behind the scenes, to let others take centre stage.

That’s how Carl McMeel fondly remembers his late wife whose commitment to athletics stretched beyond her professional track feats.

Today, the spotlight will shine on Jayne when Carl and her brother Anthony O’Connor run in a Warrnambool Gift race named in her honour.

Carl said it was humbling that a race — the Jayne McMeel Vase 300m women’s/veterans’ event — would carry the name of the mother of his two children.

Jayne passed away in July, aged, 44, after a long battle with breast cancer.

“It is a huge honour and we are pretty chuffed and I know Jayne would have been too, but highly embarrassed because she was a pretty shy person and didn’t like the limelight on her,” Carl said.

“She was certainly more a behind-the-scenes person.

“We loved her a lot and miss her a lot.”

Carl expects the race to conjure a range of emotions — pride and sadness among them — as their extended families watch on at Friendly Societies’ Park.

“She was a pretty hard-working person, Jayne. She had a strong work ethic and was an organiser of many a working bee,” he said.

“She was always doing things for other people which was a nice part of her nature.

“She is a worthy recipient of the race being named after her, not only because of her outstanding achievements in winning 17 professional races but also because she was a very generous person and terrific person to know.”

Carl and Anthony will run a race within a race.

“His handicap is probably a bit more generous than mine but I am tipping that I should probably beat him home,” Carl said.

“One of us might do a hamstring. Anthony did comment that he’s feeling so nervous he might do a hamstring prior to the race.”

Carl, 44, said Jayne, who grew up near him at Scotts Creek, was a talented runner.

She took on professional racing at 25, quickly adapting to the rigours of sprint and middle distance running after she “trained her little heart out”.

“Her first win was at the Boxing Day Test in front of a crowd of 78,000 and to the roar of that crowd she was able to nail that win,” Carl said.

“It was a fabulous thing for her.

“She felt like a celebrity for a day. She was walking out of the ground and people would say ‘you’re that girl who won the 400m. I was egging you on’.

“Jayne was as proud as punch.”

Carl, who started dating Jayne in 2001, said she went on to become a handy professional competitor over a number of distances.

Her cancer diagnosis in 2003 cut her career short but her passion for running — she continued to enter cross-country races — never waned.

“The most productive year of running for her was the 1999-2000 year,” he said.

“She won about nine races that year and from 100m right up to 1600m.

“The pinnacle of that year was her win at Stawell in the Lorraine Donnan Memorial 400m handicap.”

Jayne battled cancer for four years and then had children Hannah, now 5, and Leo, 4, before it returned at the end of 2011.

Her resilience and fight to the end didn’t surprise her husband.

“Throughout the whole time she never complained at all,” Carl said.

“She was stoic, she was brave and a courageous woman really.”

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