Team Captain of our Ten Tors Team, Alexander Maclaren reflects on their experience.

Ten Tors Warminster School 35 Mile Team 7/8th May 2016

“We left School on Friday at 09:00 hours in the School mini bus. As we set off towards Oakhampton, nerves and excitement ran high as expectations built.

When we reached the camp site, we received the news that our replacement for Thomas Davis had suffered a heavy blow to the head and was unconscious so was unable to take the place. Mr Holt set out to find us a new team member. After many options, Mr Holt went to the tent next to ours and asked about replacements. Thankfully Josh Nicholas, from St Peters Exeter was able to help. We were informed that he was a strong walker and a fantastic map reader. We were all relieved that we found someone, as if we hadn’t, we couldn’t walk. As we set off we were delighted to find out that Josh indeed was a great map reader! A huge thanks goes out to Josh for being a massive help and a great ambassador for his school. He was delighted to find that we had massively beaten the time of the team he didn’t make the cut for.

The start of the event was absolutely overwhelming. The sheer number of people participating in the event was shocking but exciting. When we walked up onto Anthony Stile we slotted ourselves in a gap in the crowd waiting for announcements. Shortly after, the artillery fired and so did the adrenaline. About 30 seconds down, 2 helicopters flew low over head. This was a great way to start such a fantastic event. Unfortunately, Dylan ended up getting an injury in-between Watern Tor and Kes Tor. We dropped him at Kes. The aim for Saturday realistically was to reach the sixth Tor which was Little Miss or via the checkpoint which was White Barrow. After some hard walking for over 13 hours straight, we managed to pull ourselves to the seventh Tor of Standon Farm which we were extremely pleased about.

This highlights the motivation and determination of the whole team. After we realised our massive potential, we decided to go for the School record of finishing at 1:30PM or earlier. On the second day, our first checkpoint was Chat Tor and to get to it we had to go up and over Hare Tor. This was easily the hardest part of the event. We decided to use all the energy we had gained from our sleep and our hearty breakfast to destroy the first few miles. And that is exactly what we did.

It was a struggle to keep our heads up but the promise of a nice warm bed and a free pasty kept us going with a positive attitude. As we gained sight of the finish, we looked at our watches. We had hours to spare to beat the record. As we reached the finish, relief was on everyone’s mind.

We received our medals and free pasties and we headed home. I would like to thank my amazing team, Josh Nicholas, Archie Wilkins, Tom Andrews and Mathias Folkesson. I would also to thank the Royal Navy, the British Army and the Royal Airforce. Thank you to Mr Holt, Old Verlucian, Nick McCormack and all Warminster staff members who made this event possible for us. Looking forward to doing it all again next year!”

Jason Holt, Head of Outdoor Pursuits remarked, “This was a great result on a demanding challenge and one where pupils all pulled together in their teams. I’m sure that this great experience will be remembered by all of the team. Well done to you all.”

The Headmaster also commented “A great effort and many congratulations on a superb achievement.”