59th Ten Tors Event

The Warminster School community is immensely proud of our two teams who successfully completed the 59th Ten Tors event. The teams trekked unaided across Dartmoor’s tough terrain, covering routes of 35 and 45 miles, and climbing ten nominated peaks along the way. Teams carried all their food, water, bedding, tents and other essentials, and camped out overnight on the moor.

It was an early start. After getting up at 4:45am, lining stomachs with a fry up and making last minute adjustments to kit, our teams lined up with about 2,500 teenagers from schools and youth groups from across the South West, with flags flying and spirits high. Friends, family, staff and organisers lined the hillside. Together they watched the Army Display team parachuting out of a light aircraft. What a fantastic atmosphere! There was silence for the Ten Tors prayer, which was shattered when two Merlin helicopters flew over the crowds and the sound of artillery pieces being shot, signalling the start of the race. Our teams started walking steadily towards Yes Tor, blue rucksack covers emblazoned with the Warminster School logo disappearing over the horizon.

Teams were wearing two sets of trackers, so their progress could be monitored throughout. The 35-milers stopped walking at about 5pm and set up camp at Holming Beam checkpoint. The 45-milers passed through Rough Tor at 9:38pm and kept walking late into the night, camping short of Postbridge checkpoint. The 35-milers got off to an early start at 6am and made good time throughout the day. The 45-milers overslept by 50 minutes, despite having set four alarm clocks – if only they’d had mobile phones! In spite of the late start, the 45-milers pulled together as a team, showing incredible grit and determination, to cross the finish line at 2:41pm. Staff were on tenterhooks waiting for the 35-milers to finish, willing them to reach the finish before the 5pm deadline. They crossed the line at 4:28pm, also proudly holding up the Warminster School banner, having truly pushed themselves mentally and physically.

A few team members did not complete the whole route, picking up injuries or pushing themselves so hard that they physically could not push any further. These team members should be equally proud of their achievement; the 35-milers and the 45-milers could not have successfully completed the event without them.

Recruiting has already started for next year’s Ten Tors challenge – I was even signing team members up at the finish line! Warminster School has been entering teams into the event for the past six years, with only one girl ever competing for the school. It would be nice to have a boys’ teams, a girls’ teams or mixed teams for the 60th Ten Tors event. Are any pupils in Year 9 and above up for the challenge?

“Both teams worked incredible hard to accomplish this challenge and for many of the pupils involved it was their first time, but for a few of us it was our second event, Everyone in my team (45-mile) pushed themselves, some right to the very edge of what they could endure and for that I am extremely grateful. Both teams had to drop two members along the way due to injury or being unable to continue, it is one of the most difficult decisions for both the team member and as the team leader to have to fallout someone, but in some cases it is the only option otherwise the team wouldn’t make it on time, as was the case with our fallouts. Although these members didn’t make it through to the end, they still deserve great appreciation for not only making the decision so the team could continue but also because without them in the first place we would not have been able to compete. I am also very impressed with the 35-mile team as they after two fallouts as well managed to push themselves through it with some of them not having much training or experience at all. After a brief assembly run by our two teams, we have shared our experiences and challenged more people to give it a go. I am hoping for more people to try out for the challenge as I myself am hoping to complete the 55-mile challenge within the next few years”. Ben Austin, 45-mile Team Leader

A massive thanks to Old Verlucian, Nick McCormack, who regularly travels back from London to support the CCF and Ten Tors training during the winter months, and to Vera Carbin for her selfless commitment and support

Jason Holt, Head of Outdoor Pursuits and CCF Army Section Commander