On Friday 10 May, 24 girls travelled to Dartmoor to take part in the final Ten Tors Challenge – with three teams of six completing the 35-mile challenge and one team the 45-mile challenge. We stayed at the Okehampton Army Camp on Friday night, where we were treated to warm, dry tents, kindly put up by Major Reavill the previous day, and food made by parents. After an early 4:30 a.m. wake-up call on Saturday (with Chariots of Fire blasting through the Camp), we set off with anticipation to the start line, alongside 2,400 other teenagers. Having said our final farewells to the teachers, we started what was to become a long, old trek through the rocky, undulating terrain of Dartmoor. Although no one was allowed to walk past the eighth checkpoint, our 45-mile team decided to walk on as far as possible on the first day and pitched our tents within 1km of it at 9 p.m.
The next morning, all of our teams carried on with their various routes at 6 a.m. – excited that the finish was now a possibility – even though there were still a lot of miles to cover. As we came over the last downward slope, it was both exciting and emotional to see all the families and friends of everyone involved gathered along the last 100m towards the finish line, congratulating and applauding our achievement. After receiving our medals, and a teary-eyed hug from Major Reavill, we hobbled over to the army canteen for a well-deserved pasty!
Photos from the weekend can be found here.
Cecilia Lockyer, 45-mile team