Sidmouth College Ten Tors- success and exhaustion, ballet and buns

Crowds from Sidmouth had a nerve-wracking wait for their teams to complete the Ten Tors endurance challenge in style at the weekend.

The final squad finished with just 13 minutes to spare- wearing ballet tutus.

Others had a leisurely afternoon in the sun having been one of the first teams home, at 11.30am.

Sidmouth College sent one year nine and one year ten team to complete 35 miles and one year 11 squad to walk 45 miles. They had to finish by 5pm on Sunday. The year tens crossed the line at 11.29am, the year nines at 1.42pm and the year 11 group at 4.47pm.

Their times and their resilience attracted praise from hardened Ten Tors veterans as well as proud parents.

Roger White a retired teacher from the school who has 25 years experience of the event said that the year 10 performance was one of the best he had seen. Ben Williams, head of Ten Tors at the school, said there was more support from Sidmouth than ever.

Of the results he said: “It was a great effort. They all finished while many other teams had members drop out and some teams didn’t finish at all. It’s not a race but even if it was, our teams did pretty well.”

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The five hours between the first team and the last team finishing made for an “anxious” wait for the spectators.

“Everyone was getting a bit nervous waiting for the year elevens to come in especially the parents and the mums,” said Mr Williams,

“They were scanning the skyline with binoculars and trying to see if the figures in the distance were them.

“When they did come in it was all very emotional.”

The mass event which started with an army air display, a military salute and a tannoy blaring Chariots of Fire, finished with the Sidmouth College year elevens “collapsing” with physical and mental exhaustion.

Some of them even had exams the next day. Nonetheless the students had enjoyed the event and the carnival atmosphere.

One boy, Finn Dinham-Price, celebrated his sixteenth birthday in the army camp on the eve of the trek, and another found solace in “Welsh buns” rather than Kendal mint cake.

A kit malfunction for the year 11s and a trip to medics out on the high moors failed to dampen the spirits.

“We were really lucky with the weather,” said Mr Williams, who had to pull the crews off Dartmoor two weeks previously due dangerous weather conditions.

“Thursday and Monday were raining and the only fine days were Friday, Saturday and Sunday - which were the days of the event!”

Those who took part and did Sidmouth College proud were:

Yr 9 35 mile

Oli Turner (captain),Kath Morton,Henry Thomas, Will Thomas,Poppy Snowling, Elenya Madeley, Reserves: Ed Oswald and Jack Salvidge

Yr 10 35 mile

Sam Turner (captain),Will Amos, George Irish, Ellen Drew, Joe Hill, Jamie Briggs, Reserve: Stanley Cornwell

Yr 11 45 mile

Finn Dinham-Price (captain),Erika Towers, Jack Dicks, Elliot Badcock, Adam Amin, George Plant