Te Awamutu firefighter flying Kiwi flag

By CATHY ASPLIN


It's known as the toughest two minutes in sports.

But Te Awamutu firefighter Chris Bestwick aims to complete his run at the Scott World Firefighter Combat Challenge in well under that time.

Bestwick is the current New Zealand Combat Challenge Champion having won the 2011 open event at just his first attempt in 1:56:40.

However, he hopes he will be much faster at the world event which begins on November 12 at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

"The equipment and the set up is different there, so it allows for much faster times. The cylinder we will carry is much smaller and lighter which allows you to be more agile and therefore more competitive."

The gut-busting combat event has different stages which include climbing a tower, hauling hoses, hitting a weight with a hammer, shooting a disc and hauling 'Rescue Randy' (an 82kg dummy) to the finish line.

Competitors are in full firefighting kit and have to be extremely fit.

Bestwick has been training hard for the event combining gym work and a variety of course-related activities.

He will literally be flying the New Zealand flag at the World Firefighter Combat Challenge.

The local firefighter has a specially painted helmet to help him stand out from over 1000 firefighters taking part.

"Our team of three have all had their helmets painted by Dean Lorich of Beachlands, he has done a great job and we thank him for that.

"Thanks also go to the Te Awamutu Fire Brigade for their support and to my employers Gold Pine for allowing me to compete."

Bestwick, Warren Maslin from Ashburton (40+ NZ title holder) and Stu Goodhew from Edgecombe (2nd in NZ 50+) are combining for the event. They will all run the individual, tandem and relay team events.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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