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FireFit competes in heat for soccer benefit

85 fire fighters competing in the first Pacific Regional FireFit competition hosted by Aldergrove
Aldergrove Fire Hall #3 team members who competed at the first FireFit regional event in Aldergrove

It was a grueling two days for fire fighters competing in the first Pacific Regional FireFit competition hosted by Aldergrove on the weekend.

However, everyone agreed that the location was ideal, the weather was perfectly beautiful, and the crowds had a good time watching the relay races and other competitions.

"We had lots of positive comments and the Township mayor and council are interested in hosting this again, so we have definitely scheduled a return in 2013," said FireFit of Canada spokesperson Hilary McRoberts.

A total of 85 fire fighters from across B.C., Alberta and Washington competed in the events at Philip Jackman Park, including "a great showing by the Langley side," said McRoberts.

As well as competing in individual events, the fire fighters, including three women, competed on 16 teams in the relays.

Langley fire fighters were represented by two teams of individuals and five teams in the relay event. Four of those men were from Aldergrove Fire Hall #3.

Two Langley men fared well in the individual runs, with Mike Strunach finishing third in the over-40 division and Morley Sagert coming first in the over-50 event.

In the all-men run Jamie McGarva of Delta's Westshore Terminals took first place with a time of 1:17.56.

In the team results it was Kamloops teams taking both first and third place, while Westshore Terminals of Delta took second. Langley Township placed fifth.

"The sun was shining and we had lots of spectators on Saturday and the beer garden did well," said McRoberts. "There were lots of spectators on Sunday too but the beer garden was quieter, which was too bad as that's where we wanted to make the most money."

In the end about $6,000 was raised, all of which will be put toward the Aldergrove Soccer Club's portion of the construction of two new artificial turf fields at Aldergrove Athletic Park. The club has pledged about $100,000 toward this investment by the Township.

"We would have liked to do better than that but we're not unhappy, it was a good result considering the short time period we had to organize it," said McRobert, who is also president of the soccer club.

"We only had about three months and usually I need a year to get everything organized for these events. But now that they've had the experience, next year the Township fire fighters will be able to help and get it going well in advance."

McRoberts also thanked the sponsors who helped defray the expenses, including the Fox & Hounds, 24/7 Security, Dan Flokstra at Alder Centre ReMax, Aldergrove Home Hardware and J.D. Turkey Farms.