Once again, QE trained up five teams of students who showed grit, determination and team work in completing the 35, 45 or 55 miles of the Ten Tors Challenge 2017.
Friday 5th May was a busy day for the students as they planned routes, organised kit for scrutineering and ate Mrs Bakers’ homemade Bolognese, all before settling down to get some sleep - despite the dread of the looming high winds.
On Saturday morning, the familiar sound of ‘Chariots of Fire’ awoke the teams at 05:00am. Eager as ever, Mr Brock, another QE Staff Volunteer, had already got a hearty breakfast of bacon and sausages on the go. Looking around the camp, the QE teams were busy preparing themselves. The students felt both a sense of determination and a hint of nervousness for what was to come.
At 07:00am all the teams were gathered on the hill, ready and waiting for the guns to fire, a signal of the start. This was the point where the Staff Volunteers could do no more but wait for information and track the progress of the teams.
From the offset, the 55 milers were storming along and maintained an incredible pace throughout day one. As they stopped to camp, they were among the top three teams on their route.
The two 45 mile teams also held a steady pace and remained incredibly strong walking on the hard ground underfoot. QE’s two 35 mile teams undertaking their first Ten Tors event had to overcome significant challenges with one team losing their navigator due to illness and then later in the day they lost a second member due to injury, leaving them with only 4 team members to continue. Despite this set back, the remaining team members tireless character and strength meant they were soon back on track and they joined the other team to camp.
On Sunday morning, the QE Staff Volunteers were up bright and early, waiting to receive the tracking information to gauge the teams finishing times. The 55 milers continued where they left off on Saturday and crossed the finish line at Anthony's Stile at 11:30am, making them the fastest QE team ever, so a huge congratulations to them.
Next in at 12:00pm was one of the 45 mile teams. Yet again, a great performance by the students on a tough route.
At 14:11pm, the four remaining members of one of the 35 mile teams finished. This deserve praise for finishing in a respectable time despite losing two team mates - they showed great team spirit keeping each other going.
Shortly after, at 14:34pm, the second 35 mile team finished, all members intact. As they crossed the line the relief and emotions were there for all to see. This was an excellent example of a team working together and supporting each other to ensure that they all crossed the finish line.
At 15:10pm the second 45 mile and final QE team finished. Some team members were clearly hurting, but again sheer courage, determination and team work meant that they all finished.
Staff Volunteer, Keith Baker said ‘Once again QE students have met the challenge, we are very proud of each and every team member!’ Team manager Jenni Baker said ‘We extend our thanks to the staffing volunteers who make it all possible and of course to the parents, as without their support the students would not have been able to gain an experience that will stay with them for a lifetime.’
The challenge is over, blisters are healing and the aches and pains are subsiding. Was it worth it? Definitely! Well done to everyone involved!
QE Academy Trust A 35
Maya Richards, Holly Manning, Jess Hannemann, Cameron Storey, Callum Yeandle, Sam Osborne.
QE Academy Trust B 35
Ben Ainsley, Abby Cann, Cydney Mackenzie, Andrew Millar, Toby Hatchell, (Ryan Smith - Scout from Chulmleigh)
QE Academy Trust A 45
Grace Newport-Tucker, Becca Bonsor, Tom Mann, Curtis Pelcl-Garnsworthy, Matt Cooke, (Matt Harris -Scout from Teignbridge)
QE Academy Trust B 45
Sophie Brockway, Taran Clark, Miryam Ley, Connor Ridd, Jake Poulton, (Eddie Akers -Scout from Bristol)
QE Academy Trust A 55
Euan Dodd, Jack Reed, Rory Tucker, Sam Hatchell, David Gray, Matt Goodman