THE largest youth challenge in the UK took place on Dartmoor with 2,400 teenagers accepting the Ten Tors Challenge. Taunton School students were among them, with one team ready to walk a 35 mile route and another taking on the 45 mile route.
Both teams did really well and completed their challenges, with the 35 mile group finishing in four hours and 21 minutes and the 45 mile group crossing the line in nine hours and 16 minutes.
Taunton School is tremendously proud of these students for displaying such hard work and perseverance. The Ten Tors is no easy feat but is an experience that will long be remembered by those who take part.
35 mile challenge
OUR group’s experience of Ten tors was in short, quite possibly the most bonding thing for a group of friends to do – involving panicked encounters in bird nesting areas, the world’s most hated idea, and blundering around on misty tors.
Relying solely on a compass bearing and the high vis tabards ahead, the most satisfying moments were cresting hills to see khaki army tents surrounded by trains of people, exhausted by the unending tussocks of moon grass and boggy traps threatening to devour trekkers.
We shall forever remember the experience in the long term by the medals but for the short term, the bleeding blisters on our feet and ankles will do.
Alex Griffiths – 35 mile team
45 mile challenge
THIS year was a successful one for Taunton School in the Ten Tors challenge. The 45 mile team composed of six teenagers of 16-17 years of age completed the training and were selected to represent the school in the challenge.
Hunter Hailes, Saul Kurzman, Martha Beale, Tom James, Anna Glaser and from Warminster School, James Caldwell were the chosen team members and got down to Okehampton Camp on Friday evening prior to the event to register, complete the safety briefing and plot the route onto the maps.
Saturday morning begun with the usual ‘Chariots of Fire’ wake up call and not long after all 2,400 walkers were lined up on the start line. The team led by Tom James got off to a good start, going through checkpoints 1, 2, 3 and 4 in good time. However James Caldwell had sustained a knee injury before Ten Tors and had aggravated it on the walk, so sadly had to pull out. A fantastic effort though and James should be proud of his efforts and contribution to the team. The team continued to push on to the end of the day just shy of checkpoint 7, setting themselves up well for the following day.
Sunday came round and more bad news for the team. Saul had also injured himself the previous day with blisters and swollen feet, taking away his ability to walk. Saul managed to make it to the first checkpoint of the day where mountain rescue came to get to him.
By pulling out, Saul saved the team and allowed them to continue in good pace to the finish. A tough moment for him but one that should commended. The team carried on and soon enough the finish line was in sight. The team of four crossed the finish line at 16:16. Due to the team not finishing with six people, the team certificate was not awarded to us, but the finishing team were awarded medals for the completion of the challenge.
Overall the weekend was a huge success for the 45 mile team and one the will be remembered by the entire team for the experience.
Tom James – 45 Mile team