Firefighters turn up the heat for cross country

The start of the Fire Services Cross Country Race at The Queen's Temple, Stowe. 131013M-B696
The start of the Fire Services Cross Country Race at The Queen's Temple, Stowe. 131013M-B696
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Nearly 100 runners gathered at Stowe School on Sunday, October 13, to take part in the annual UK Fire Services Cross Country Championships, which included the Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service Cross Country Race.

The field included around 30 guests from clubs including Bearbrook Runners, Buckingham and Stowe, David Lloyd Runners and Vale of Aylesbury.

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

Piers completed the men’s eight-kilometre course in 32 minutes 45 seconds, and Libby the women’s four-kilometre course in 22 minutes 30 seconds.

Race organiser Eddie Gutteridge, Life Vice-President of the Buckinghamshire Fire and 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 tenant farmer Chris Whitehead for his support.”

Piers finished fifth and Libby sixth in their respective races in the UK championships.

Nigel Stirk from Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service won the men’s race – his fourth win in a row and the sixth time in seven years – in 29 minutes 35 seconds.

Natalie Batey from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service secured her second victory in as many years in 18 minutes 43 seconds.