Ten Tors 2015
This year Warminster School entered the 35 mile Ten Tors event on Dartmoor. We started training at the end of November last year with ten students from Years 9 and 10.
The training is not easy – five months of gruelling training walks, mostly on the moor and Salisbury Plain, each walk being progressively more difficult in terms of the distance and terrain covered and conducted in typical winter Dartmoor weather – strong cold winds and heavy rain (although we did have the odd weekend of sunshine). In these conditions the teams had to practise their navigation, camping skills and teamwork while carrying a rucksack weighing 13-15 kilos.
So a massive “well done” is due to everyone who took part in the training!
The 35 mile team selected was made up of William Hourahane (Team Leader), Oliver Case, Harry Mayo, Harry Langhorn, Jack Vincent and Felix Sheves, the last two both joining the team in the week prior to the event and without whom the team could not have competed.
Preparation at Okehampton Camp on the Friday went well. The teams were briefed, scrutinised, planned their routes, had a meal and an early night. The following morning they were up bright and early at 5.30am to dig into a cooked breakfast prior to the wet walk to the start line.
On a fairly mild but wet Saturday morning the team, along with around 2300 other young people, crossed the start line. The weather conditions soon improved and the teams had pleasant conditions for the two days, contending with mild winds, the odd shower and very boggy ground. Unfortunately, not long after the second check point the team had to leave one member of the group (Jack Vincent) after he was unable to continue due to a leg injury. He was brought back to base. Despite this, the team stuck to the game plan successfully, reaching Tor 6, their first day target, in the evening.
After a cold and windy night on the moor the teams set off at 6am on Sunday morning in slightly improving weather conditions for the final push to the finish at Okehampton Camp. The team crossing the finish line at 12.46pm with big smiles on their faces in the knowledge that they had completed an event not for the faint hearted.
Now, at the end of a busy training period, I can reflect on the last five months and have come to the conclusion that the resilience, commitment, dogged determination and guts that these brilliant young people showed never ceases to amaze me.
Of course, none of this could have been possible without the help of the organisers who run the event in a way that only the best Armed Forces in the world could.
Thanks to all the School staff and 2nd Lt Nick McCormack who assisted throughout the training; the parents for the support they have given to the team; and the School’s catering department for providing the teams with a hearty meal prior to the event cooked by my fair hands.
Most importantly, congratulations to Will, Oliver Case, Harry Mayo, Harry Langhorn, Jack and Felix who proved to everyone, including themselves, that they did have the skills, stamina, determination, self-belief and commitment to overcome adversity and get the job done.
Ten Tors Team Manager