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Young athlete – Mhairi Hendry

Part of Athletics Weekly‘s Young Athlete series, Mhairi Hendry explains how she is benefiting from training with Laura Muir

Since switching to coach Andy Young in October, Mhairi Hendry has smashed her 400m and 800m personal bests and if the rapid rise of training partner Laura Muir is anything to go by, 18-year-old Mhairi looks set to enjoy further improvement.

The Victoria Park City of Glasgow athlete was troubled with tendonitis in the ligaments of her left foot at the end of the 2013 season and was unable to train for two months. But after starting being coached by Young with the Glasgow University AC group and training alongside 4:02.91 1500m runner Muir, the teenager has gone from strength to strength.

“I train on the track on Mondays and Wednesdays either at Scotstoun or indoors at the Emirates Arena,” she says, explaining her training. “On a Saturday we train on the grass at Glasgow University’s Garscube Sports Complex. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays I go for a long run.”

Mhairi includes circuit training and swimming in her training regimen, adding: “I do less intense sessions than Laura with fewer reps and more recovery.”

Boasting PBs of 2:08.28 and 56.38, set at the recent British Championships and Scottish Schools Championships respectively, Mhairi won the Scottish under-20 indoor 800m title this year and placed second over the same distance in the England Athletics Under-20 Championships. She also enjoyed being part of the Commonwealth Select 4x400m team at the Emirates Arena for the British Athletics International in January and won both the 400m and 800m events at the Scottish Schools event at Hampden Park in June.

“I will mainly concentrate on 800m now, but will do the occasional 400m as I want to keep improving my speed”

In the past, the talented teenager has been no stranger to success, having won Scottish 800m titles through the age groups and competing in the International Children’s Games in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

“The International Children’s Games is an annual event for teams of under-15 athletes from cities across the world to compete in several sports,” Mhairi explains. “When Lanarkshire hosted the ICG in 2011, I was the ‘Face of the Games’ and met Sebastian Coe.”

Mhairi also has fond memories of the 2009 event in Athens. “I was part of the Team Lanarkshire under-15 winning 4x100m team. I was 13 and the youngest member of the team, which was managed by Yvonne Murray-Mooney and assisted by Jim Goldie.”

Mhairi is hoping further international experience will come her way in the future. “I will mainly concentrate on 800m now, but will do the occasional 400m as I want to keep improving my speed,” says Mhairi.

Sporting talent is in Mhairi’s genes, as her grandfather, the now 88-year-old Bruce Hendry, was the Royal Marines cross country champion in 1943 and boasts a PB of 1:57.2 for 880 yards, which he set in 1949 at Hampden Park in front of 70,000 spectators.

Currently a sixth year pupil at Hamilton Grammar School, Mhairi hopes to go to the University of Strathclyde next year to study prosthetics and orthotics, while continuing her steep improvement curve in athletics.

You can find further performance stats on Mhairi on Power of 10 here.

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