Falkirk’s marathon girl geared up for New York event

Jill Hendry hopes to run the New York marathon
Jill Hendry hopes to run the New York marathon

A brave teenager is hoping her plans to run the New York Marathon are not stopped in their tracks by Hurricane Sandy.

Jill Hendry, who was diagnosed with a rare eye condition last year, has spent months training for this Sunday’s event which has attracted 50,000 entrants.

But the 18-year-old from Carron feared it could all be in vain when the city was hit by the devastating storm on Monday evening.

With airports closed, the public transport system at a halt and thousands of homes evacuated, there were concerns the marathon would be cancelled.

Jill, who already has £14,500 pledged in sponsorship for her chosen charity RP Fighting Blindness, is due to run with her guide, Elaine McKay (42) from Stenhousemuir.

Now the pair are keeping their fingers crossed the marathon will go ahead and their trip will not be in vain.

Media student Jill said: “We’ve done a lot of 
preparation and are looking forward to taking part. We’re hoping that we can fly out on Friday as planned and run two days later.”

When Jill Hendry was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) she vowed not to let it hold her back.

She has already taken part in skydive and on Sunday plans to run the New York Marathon.

Flying out from Glasgow on Friday will be her guide, family friend Elaine McKay, her family – parents Elizabeth and George, and sister Rebecca – along with two friends.

All the money raised from her efforts will go to RP Fighting Blindness, the charity which provides support for others with the degenerative condition that leads to loss of vision and blindness.

But with large parts of eastern America still without power and transportation there are concerns the marathon, first held in 1970, might have to be cancelled.