Athletics News

How Jenny Meadows helped create a winning team

How Jenny Meadows helped create a winning team

Former 800m star explains her working partnership with husband Trevor Painter and how the couple have turned their lives upside down to guide some of Britain’s top talent

A short while before retiring as one of the world’s leading 800m runners, Jenny Meadows turned to her husband and coach Trevor Painter and uttered words that now prompt her to laugh at their sheer foolishness. “Imagine,” she said, “when I’m done we can just wake up on a Saturday morning and be normal people.”

It is the end of an exhausting week. The previous weekend, Meadows and Painter indulged in an unforgettable voyage to Las Vegas to watch U2 play in the extraordinary new Sphere venue. Unfortunately, the trip took its toll.

Painter has been holed up in bed with illness ever since returning to their Wigan home – “When he’s closing his eyes and shivering at least he can remember how good the concert was,” says Meadows – leaving his wife to run their operation solo. It is no easy task given its vast scale.

Painter’s illness has wider implications for both their extended families. So wary are the coaching couple of passing on bugs to any of their runners that their three-year-old daughter Arabella has been shuttling between sets of grandparents ever since Meadows and Painter returned from the United States, banished from the family home.

“I feel really bad because I’ve hardly seen her,” admits Meadows. “Yesterday, I did a coaching session in Manchester, drove Trevor to the doctor’s, picked Arabella and my mum up, took them to McDonald’s and then went home. I feel like I’m on supervised visits! Poor Arabella. I’m really sorry!”

Ask Meadows what she now does for a career and her answer will be entirely different to 12 months ago. Back then she was a part-time mother, part-time athlete mentor, part-time assistant coach to Painter, part-time TV commentator and pundit. Nowadays, through a steady evolution that she never expected, she has become a fully-fledged coach.

Jenny Meadows (Mark Shearman)

As much as it might be Painter’s name in brackets next to the athletes they look after, the coaching operation has progressed into a dual one with near-equal partners. Painter and Meadows; Meadows and Painter.

In no small part, it has happened out of the necessity of taking on so many athletes. Of the 25 runners Meadows and Painter look after, nine are full-time professionals, who live and train in Manchester, while the remainder are high-level…

CLICK HERE to Read the Full Original Article at AW…