Although there are many walking challenges out there Laura and Ali were keen to participate in a challenge in the south-west, where they both grew up. Dartmoor national park is known as one of the last wildernesses in England. At 368 square miles, it’s a vast and beautiful landscape of hills, many of which are topped by granite outcrops called ‘tors’.
The Ten Tors challenge on Dartmoor was set up in 1959 by the army offering a walking challenge to young cadets to help with army training. Over the years it became so popular they now have 2,400 teenagers taking part annually in 35, 45 and 55 mile events, and Ali took part in the 35 mile event at school.
Still young at heart, Laura and Ali decided to embark on their own version of the 45 mile challenge, planning to visit ten tors over two days, performing a ‘mini-challenge’ at the top of each.
This was by far our toughest challenge yet. The wettest May for 14 years did not disappoint; Saturday was mostly spent walking across bogs with horizontal rain lashing into our faces. The weather was so bad that we had to come off the moor earlier than planned as visibility was getting so poor.
Sunday’s weather was a bit better, giving us more chances to enjoy Dartmoor’s spectacular scenery, but we were behind time and Laura was having a tough time with injury. So on Sunday afternoon we took the really difficult decision to end the challenge early, having covered 40 miles and only seven out ten tors. 40 very hard miles!
The mini-challenges to complete at the top of each tor were:
- scoffing a whole Tunnocks teacake in one go
- reciting a poem from memory
- 10 press-ups with our back packs on
- doing a handstand
- drinking shots
- doing cartwheels
- completing 10 burpees with back packs on
- taking part in a quiz about Dartmoor (the last one took place in the pub when we went for a celebratory/ consolatory drink at the end of the challenge)
We were also due to take part in the after eight challenge and list all the tors we visited in order, but we didn’t have enough tors for that…
Laura emerged victorious in the mini-challenges, with the final scores Laura – 5, Jon – 2, Ali – 1.