Sir Sefton Bracer Cross Country

It was a bright but very cold day for the annual Sir Sefton Brancker Cross Country match between the Civil Service, Fire, Police and Southern League stations. This race, held at RAF Halton, is traditionally cold and fast, and this year’s route missed out the woodland section, instead sending the runners up the grass slope in front of the woods.

Having already raced up the grass slope to circle the famous tree, the runners only had the equivalent downhill slope to regain their breath before heading back up. Fortunately, this spot was popular with spectators and their enthusiastic cheers helped keep the pace across the road and on through the trees.

After skirting the large sports field, which involved another of RAF Halton’s energy-sapping ‘slopes’, and passing in front of Halton House Officers’ Mess, the course turned for home with a long downhill run towards the start of the next lap. The Ladies’ Race was approximately 4.4 miles long, with the men completing around 6.6 miles.

In the Ladies’ Race, Flight Lieutenant Tamsyn Rutter had a battle on her hands at the front of the field with the fastest of the Police runners. Tamsyn held her nerve and continued to put the pressure on, eventually running away from her rival for the win. The RAF Halton course was quite a shock for Tamsyn, who had been limited to only running on a treadmill during her four-month deployment on HMS Queen Elizabeth.

In the Men’s Race, a large field assembled and despite the conditions produced some excellent performances. Wing Commander Ben Livesey and Senior Aircraftman Mike Kallenberg led a small group through the first two laps of the course, with the former eventually getting away in
the last mile to secure a close victory. RAF Halton’s Corporal Kieran White finished a very creditable 12th.

Overall the RAF had another excellent year competing at this prestigious event, winning the Ladies, Senior Men and the Veterans team categories.