By Matt O’Brien - Year 10 - Richard Lander School Team Leader
Saturday morning - we were woken up at 05:00 prompt with some awful music that should be illegal. Ms Datson already had eggs and bacon ready for us, the last meal we’d be having for 36 hours that didn’t come from a bag. Walking up to the start line, Dartmoor greeted us with sideways rain and strong winds. We received a speech from the Army Commander of Ground Forces, the artillery guns were fired, the helicopters flew over and we set off.
We were ahead of time all the way up to lunch, despite getting a bit lost in the fog towards our second Tor. By the time we ate we had endured fog, wind, rain and surprisingly, sun! Nearly 20km down, 40km left to go.
Getting past Tor 3, 4 and 5 was not very exciting but was certainly difficult. We became slightly behind time but were closing the gap surprisingly fast although everybody was suffering from blisters or something similar. The latest time we were allowed to leave Tor 6 was 18:50; this was our aim – with hindsight a little ambitious as we’d need to do 5km in less than an hour. Inevitably we were stopped at Tor 6 and set up camp, luckily not in the rain. All six of us didn’t take long to fall asleep.
04:30 the next morning we were up and cooking breakfast aiming to be gone by 06:00 when the checkpoints opened again, we were ready at 05.59 – just. We set off in the fog to complete the remaining 20km. I’m sure if you saw us it would look like a scene from the walking dead! We felt like we were carrying elephants on our backs.
The rest of the journey was relatively uneventful, we didn’t lose any time. We voted on whether we wanted to stop for lunch and it was unanimous, we wanted to push on to the finish line and be in before 13:00. The thought of a free pasty gave us new wind.
A walk that should take 8 hours took us 6, we crested the hill and the finish line was in sight. We didn’t have enough energy to be excited, it was more sort of a feeling of relief. The six of us crossed the line together holding the Cornish flag, photos were taken, we ate our pasty and received medals and a certificate. Then home for a long awaited bath.
The Ten Tors Team were Matt O’ Brien, Darren Dunstan, Peter Ashby, Joe Manley, Caitlin Faux and Kate Barnes—Very well done to you all!