Firefighters hot to trot at cross country race

The start of the Bucks Fire and Rescue Service Cross Country Race at Stowe School. PNL-141013-161100001
The start of the Bucks Fire and Rescue Service Cross Country Race at Stowe School. PNL-141013-161100001

Firefighters from across the country showed what they were made of while enjoying a local beauty spot in the annual UK Fire Services Cross Country Championships.

The event, which was held at Stowe School yesterday, Sunday, attracted around 60 people from brigades in Avon, Buckinghamshire, Cumbria, Essex, Hampshire, Hereford & Worcester, Lancashire, Leicestershire, London, Mid & West Wales, Oxfordshire, Tyne and Wear, West Midlands and West Yorkshire.

The championships incorporate the Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service Cross Country Race.

Race organiser Eddie Gutteridge, life vice-president of the Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service Sports Association, said: “The use of this venue for cross country running is a special privilege to the fire and rescue service.

“I would like to express my sincere thanks to the National Trust and Stowe School for the use of facilities, and to Chris Whitehead for his support.”

Piers Vallance from Great Holm Fire Station and Libby Gassor from Aylesbury Fire Station won their respective races in the Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service Cross Country Race for the fourth successive year.

Piers completed the men’s 8.8km course in 34 minutes 37 seconds, and Libby the women’s 4.4km course in 24 minutes 2 seconds.

Piers was fourth man to finish the UK Fire Services Cross Country Championships, and Libby the fourth woman.

The field included nearly 20 guests from clubs including Vale of Aylesbury Athletic Club, Buckingham and Stowe Running Club and David Lloyd Redway Runners, Milton Keynes.

Individual and team winners were presented with their medals after the race by Doris Whitehead, mother of the tenant farmer at Stowe, Chris Whitehead.