No holding Carron teenager back from NY marathon challenge

Jill Hendry and Elaine Mckay in New York
Jill Hendry and Elaine Mckay in New York

Hurricane Sandy wasn’t enough to hold back a Bairn determined to fulfil her dream of running a marathon in New York.

Jill Hendry travelled to the US city to take part in the New York Marathon but, along with 50,000 other entrants, she was disappointed when it was cancelled due to the devastation left in the storm’s wake.

However, after it was called off, an unofficial event was organised in Central Park where thousands of participants ran the route of the first-ever New York Marathon.

The 18-year-old from Carron, who was diagnosed with the rare eye condition retinitis pigmentosa (RP) last year, raised £15,300 for charity RP Fighting Blindness by doing the event.

Jill and her carer Elaine McKay took six hours to complete four circuits of the famous park to complete up the 26.2-mile run and were presented with official New York Marathon medals.

Jill, who was supported by family on the trip, said: “It was a great experience and I really enjoyed it.

“Everyone was disappointed when it was cancelled but understood why and the American people were very supportive.

“The Central Park marathon was then organised by a sports company and it was probably actually harder than the main one would have been because there were more hills and it was a bit repetitive.

“Because we didn’t get to do the official one I was told I can do it, or the London one, next year.”

Jill raised her massive total through a justgiving page, three charity nights, donations from family and friends and local businesses and her school, Larbert High, produced a cook book which sold many copies.