THE festive spirit got into full swing in Chippenham on Friday as hundreds of primary school pupils took part in a Christmas cross country run.

Around 700 pupils took part in this year’s event, which also included a competitive race, before they enjoyed a hot chocolate at Hardenhuish and Sheldon school fields.

"It was absolutely brilliant and I cannot believe how many children turned up." Jessica Pierce, community sports leader, said. "We had one school who said they were entering some pupils into the competitive race but when they arrived they had brought the whole year group.

"We started this three years ago and every year it's just got bigger and bigger. This year we introduced a competitive element and we had Ethan Piece, a Wiltshire team runner, who also represented the English Schools in the cross country nationals, as the pace maker and another lad at the back making sure no one got left behind and then after that Father Christmas launched every non competitive race."

The event, which was the biggest Chippenham Sports Partnership has organised yet, also joined forces with Tesco Pewsham Express, Sainsbury's, Marks and Spencers and Iceland to provide every child with a hot chocolate.

"It was a lovely day and we've had some great feedback from the schools involved," Ms Pierce added. "Everyone ran a mile and they all finished with a great big smile on their face before we took them down to the hot chocolate stand."