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A record 24 King’s College pupils set out on the gruelling Ten Tors Challenge on Dartmoor last Saturday morning (7 May 2016), having completed a rigorous programme of training and selection over the previous months. This year King’s was allowed to enter two teams in the 35 mile distance, as well as the usual year 12 and year 13 teams for the 45 and 55 mile routes.  The weather over the weekend was a good deal kinder than in previous years, with warm, mostly dry conditions for the thousands of boys and girls who took part.

All four King’s teams completed the event in good order and within the cut-off point of 5pm on Sunday afternoon, having camped overnight on the moors. First in were the 35 mile A team of three boys and three girls who bounced into camped at 11.26am.  Last in were the foot-sore 55 milers (Harvey Dryburgh, Ben Wright, Henry Biggs, Duncan McLeod, Hamish Urquhart and Oliver Guess), cheerful but exhausted after their long slog.

The Ten Tors is the largest event of its kind in the British Isles, presenting a challenging and rewarding opportunity for teenagers to test themselves against the rigours of Dartmoor over significant distances. The teams are entirely self-supporting over the two days, although their progress and health are carefully monitored at checkpoints manned by army personnel, for whom this is a valuable exercise in management and communication.  Completing the challenges takes determination and bravery, along with exceptional fitness and advanced navigation skills.  The dedication of the adult team managers and supporters, who bring their own experience and love of adventure to new generations, is also a key element in the success of the event.

The King’s teams will remember the experience for years to come.

Commenting on the event, Headmaster Richard Biggs said “As Headmaster I could not have been prouder of the 24 boys and girls who completed the Challenge.  They showed the spirit and cheerfulness, the guts and determination which I have come to associate with this school.  As the father of one of the 55 milers I was especially proud! Henry woke up to his 18th birthday camped on the moors miles from anywhere – and says that completing the distance with his team was the best birthday present he could wish for.  I think the Ten Tors is a wonderful event as it allows young people to push themselves far beyond what they might have thought possible.  It is certainly life changing; long may it continue!”

Video footage of our teams can be seen at: http://www.kings-taunton.co.uk/video-gallery/