Mckeown finishes in top ten

PUBLISHED: 15:46 03 July 2008 | UPDATED: 09:12 10 June 2010

EXMOUTH Harrier Mark Thompson competed in the Forde Abbey Cross Country Race, coming 12th in 42:58, this from a field of 205 finishers. Thompson's time was just under six minutes behind the winner.

EXMOUTH Harrier Mark Thompson competed in the Forde Abbey Cross Country Race, coming 12th in 42:58, this from a field of 205 finishers. Thompson's time was just under six minutes behind the winner. The race was staged through the stunning Forde Abbey estate, crossing meadows, rivers and woodlands in its idyllic corner of West Dorset. 113 runners took part in the inaugural Exeter Festival Four, which saw the pack set off from the Canal Basin following a 4.3 mile route along the River Exe to Countess Wear Bridges and returning back to the finishing line along the Exeter Ship Canal cycle path. Although dead flat, the course was not without its challenges. On the outward stretch, through the Exe flood plain, competitors had to contend with a herd of cows stampeding past and criss-crossing the course, while the return leg was run into a stiff breeze.Of the four Exmouth Harriers who took part, Pete McKeown coped best with the challenges, finishing 10th in 26:01. Andy Johnson ran the first half faster than he had planned, having to sprint past the cows before they blocked the course, and as a consequence he found himself struggling later, although he was able to keep the two leading women (Caroline Hewitt of Tiverton Harriers, 27:04, and Karen Cook of South West Road Runners, 27:22) in his sight along the canal but he was unable to close the gap, eventually finishing 14th in 27:35. Ray Elston was 31st in 30:25 and Jim Wyatt finished 44th in 32:33.

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