Butchart in coach­ing switch

Athletics Weekly - - News -


AN­DREW BUTCHART says rec­om­men­da­tion from Mo Farah helped con­vince him that mov­ing to work with coach Ter­rence Ma­hon was the right call to make, writes Jes­sica Whittington.

Hav­ing for­merly worked with Derek Eas­ton, who guided him to sixth at the Olympic Games, the Scot is now among Bos­ton­based Ma­hon’s charges and ap­pre­ci­ated the 10-time global track gold medal­list’s guid­ance.

“I started speak­ing to Ter­rence at Rio last year and we just grad­u­ally got to know each other a bit more,” ex­plains Butchart, who placed eighth in the 5000m fi­nal at the IAAF World Cham­pi­onships in Lon­don. “The more I’ve spo­ken to him, the more I’ve thought he’s the right guy to look af­ter me from now on.”

Ma­hon, who was lead en­durance coach at UK Ath­let­ics be­tween 2012-13, also guides Scot­tish Euro­pean medal­lists Lynsey Sharp and Chris O’Hare.

“I spoke to my old coach, Derek Eas­ton, who was amaz­ing,” Butchart adds.


“I talked with Mo Farah quite a bit about it, he kind of pointed me to­wards Ter­rence. He re­ally re­spects Ter­rence so that meant a lot to me that Mo ap­proved.”

The 25-year-old says a stand-out mo­ment of his sea­son came at the Müller Grand Prix Birm­ing­ham when Farah took off his vest and handed it to him in a sym­bolic changing of the guard ges­ture as the 34-year-old pre­pared to switch his fo­cus to road racing.

“I do con­sider Mo a good friend now rather than just a com­peti­tor and a team-mate,” Butchart says. “He is such a good guy, I’m go­ing to miss him so much. We’ve had a lot of mo­ments this year, in­clud­ing pass­ing the vest.

“There was a mo­ment that peo­ple didn’t see in Lon­don dur­ing the race when he held back (Yomif) Ke­jelcha so I kept my in­side line. No one saw it but to me that was mas­sive. He said to me ‘you’re meant to be here’, sort of thing.

“Me and Mo have spo­ken quite a lot since the world cham­pi­onships. He has given me a lit­tle bit more in­side knowl­edge into what I should do in races and stuff like that. He’s a good men­tor to have for the next few years.”

The re­spect is mu­tual. “Butchart’s a great ath­lete,” Farah says. “Like my­self, I had to make a de­ci­sion on what I wanted. I said, ‘I was once like you – I was there but not quite there’. It’s how much you want it. You have to un­der­stand who can help get you there.

“Ter­rence Ma­hon, I be­lieve in him. He’s a great coach and coached some great ath­letes in the past and he has great ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Like Farah, Butchart’s next race is also set to be on the roads as he plans to make his half-marathon de­but at the

Bank of Scot­land Great Scot­tish Run on Oc­to­ber 1.

But rather than it rep­re­sent­ing a more se­ri­ous move up in dis­tance, Butchart says he will just be us­ing the 13.1-mile event as a chance to test him­self be­fore his at­ten­tion moves to cross coun­try and racing in­doors.

“I’m plan­ning to do a half­marathon in Glas­gow straight away, just to see my fit­ness off a break,” he ex­plains. “Then I’ll speak to coach and work out when we go to al­ti­tude and when we do races.

“It’s just for a bit of fun,” he adds on his step up to the half­marathon. “I’ve not raced in Scot­land for a long time.

“It just seems like a good one to do just to start off the win­ter. It means I get some miles in and it means I can start off not ex­pect­ing to do any­thing, the pres­sure is off.

“It’s just to try it out. In the fu­ture I’m go­ing to have to move to the road at some point but I think it’s many, many moons away.”

An­drew Butchart: will be re­turn­ing to the roads to make his half-marathon de­but at the Bank of Scot­land Great Scot­tish Run

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