Thompson stars in Exmouth Harriers colours

PUBLISHED: 18:39 28 September 2011

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Exmouth Harrier Roger Rowe travelled Yeovilton, Somerset, for the last race in a summer 5km series.

Roger describes the course as the fastest in the country and cool conditions with a beautiful setting sun on the night saw him clock 19:50,chopping a minute off the time he had run for the same distance a week earlier in Exeter, itself a fast course.

Roger was second Over 65 Male but was much more pleased with that time.

Roger Rowe is one of a number of highly ranked veteran runners at Exmouth Harriers and has been a runner for more years than he would care to remember.

A much younger and much less experienced member of the club is Mark Thompson. Mark recalls struggling to keep up with Harriers Ray Elston and Bob Woodall on an early training run when he joined the club 5 years ago, later discovering that they were approaching their 70th and 60th birthdays respectively!

Since then Mark’s improvement has been gradual but continuous. Mark has made tough, usually hilly and multi-terrain courses his speciality. This summer he has placed in the Top 10 of half-a-dozen events but on September 18, he was thrilled to race to a top three place for the first time. The event was the Trickey Warren Trek in the Blackdown Hills, a fund raiser for the Somerset and Dorset Air Ambulance.

There were steep climbs and testing descents, made worse by heavy showers, and Mark had fallen soon after the start.

Mark completed the course, some 10km long, in third place. Not very many runners now what it feels like to win a race. Mark has now come very close but, like all of us who run and race has his own personal targets and it is hitting those targets that is at the heart of the sport.

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