Ten Tors 2012

We went down to Dartmoor for the Ten Tors event on the Friday with a mix of excitement and nerves in the air. Friday was spent preparing for the event by planning our route, going to the army briefing and eating a very large amount of carbohydrates to give us the most energy possible.

We were awoken at 5:00am to some very inspiring and motivational songs which got us pumped for the event and went up to the start line ready for the walk ahead. The prayer was read, the cannon was fired, three helicopters flew past and that was it, we were off.

The funniest point in the event was where we got caught in a very large bog between two of the tors, we were up to our thighs in cold muddy water having to crawl out on our hands and knees!

Overall it was a very challenging weekend, however the sense of achievement when coming down Victory Road made it all worth it. After the finish we took off our boots and had competitions to see who had the best (worst!) feet. We came third out of 19 groups who did our route but the real achievement was getting 6 people across the line and receiving the team certificate.

I didn’t realise how much determination I had until I did Ten Tors. I believe I could do another Ten Tors and I feel encouraged to challenge myself about what I think my limits are.  The teachers involved in running Ten Tors (Mrs Nunn, Mr Parfitt, Mr Hawkins, Mrs O’Callaghan, Mr Brown[History] Mr Gaynor and above all Miss Hibbert) and the past students who have left Chew Valley but came back to help (Matt Eagon, & Ashton Marshall) taught us invaluable lessons in how to cope with the challenges that Dartmoor brings. We were incredibly lucky to have bright sunny weather but we trained in wind, rain and hail and the heat brought different challenges.

Ten Tors is not just about your speed or how quickly you can walk it is more about how you can co-operate as a team and how much effort you put into other aspects of training. You don’t have to be good at other sports to be good at walking. At the time the trainings seemed very tiring and you sometimes wondered why you did it but by Monday you forget all the hard bits and remember how funny things were!

I surprised myself as I didn’t think I was a strong walker, and I am not the fittest person but I realise I can encourage other people and help them to work as a team and this is something I really enjoy. So, if you are thinking of doing Ten Tors you should give it a try but be prepared to put the effort in…and maybe stock up now on blister plasters!

Julia (35 mile team)