You may be aware, I was on the 45 mile Wild Tribe team walking for the National Trust and I finished my Ten Tors journey at 12.20 on Sunday the 13th of May 2012 . As a proud “Wild Triber” I thought it would be great to share my wonderful adventures with the National Trust and Torquay Boys Grammar School! 🙂
My journey began on a winter morning on my very first training walk with the boys. I was welcomed onto the boys regime immediately and I quickly found out that it was nothing like training with the girls. The boys were full of banter and were up for anything. They started my first walk with a casual run to Nuns Cross and this was where I first met my team. It was dark and Ellie and I had no idea who we were with but the guys set up their tents practically on top of a leat all the same. The next day a massive realisation moment hit me; the boys were fast, like REALLY fast and every one of the boys trainers had an attitude that “tanking it” was normal; basically meaning that you had to walk at abnormal speeds. But they were all so brilliant and very apologetic; especially after Simon led us to the wrong Tor on our very first walk (sorry Simon)… And from then on in I think it was generally excepted that the girls would navigate. But I made it through my first ever training ahead of schedule, having completed an extra leg and I came home surprisingly intact and qualified for the Wild Tribe… Which was an amazing feeling.
From then on I got to know everyone better and better. It became excepted that at least once on our walks, Dave from my team would say “light jog guys?”, that Mr Jones would thank Ellie and I for taking care of his boys and that Tony would add an extra 3k to the end of the walk just for the fun of it. We had some low points, but the high points made up for them, like singing nine rounds of “Nine German bombers…” in a very out of tune manner or finding out from Mr Colvile that we were being pulled off the moor by the military because they’d finally realised that waist high bog was not a good thing to be caught in. We all developed personality wise and I found myself leading my team across rivers (basically they watched as I crossed to reduce the chance of them getting wet). Despite this, training was always a massive success and each walk made me more proud to be part of such a brilliant team.
Finally, the event weekend arrived and my team and I all collected our hoodies (one of my Ten Tors highlights) and after queuing for hours to go to briefing, finally made it to the Betty Cockles pub to enjoy a massive plate of spaghetti and share a huge slice of chocolate cake (as Simon won a £1 bet as Dave and Seb realised that it was impossible for them to eat an entire one each). Needless to say we all slept well until woken at around 5am by chatting from surrounding teams and “Chariots of fire” on full boom. The start was fantastic, especially with the army helicopter flyover and we walked reasonably fast to our first Tor, although we were slowed by a horrific bog (myself being the only one to be completely engulfed by the frightening sludge). We picked up the speed and intercepted the 55 boys at Tor 5 as they practically jogged past us, the absolute machines that they are. We made it to Tor 7 before eight and set up camp below Tor 8. In our sheltered spot we cooked our food and laughed at each others awful tan marks. We had an early start, and checked in to 8th just after 6 and we trooped on all the way to 10th, now sustaining a number of injuries and set out from tenth knowing that on our last leg we had to tackle Killer Valley. But we made it as a complete team and received our medals with massive smiles and a ginormous sense of achievement.
I have loved every part of Ten Tors and have learned so much from my time on the Wild Tribe. I have met some amazing people, particularly Tony who will continue to inspire me into the future with his ability to tackle anything and I have gained an important life lesson that “Pain is temporary, but pride lasts forever”. My fellow walkers have been so brilliant and their unique bog-crossing techniques never ceased to amuse me. But most importantly, my team have been phenomenal and because of them I have had the most fantastic time.
So thank you so much to Adrian and everyone at the National Trust for giving me this opportunity, thank you to everyone at the Boys School for making me part of the family and thank you to my team; Well Done guys
National Trust 45 mile team at the finish – I’m the one on the right