Dartmoor Challenge boosts ShelterBox
MORE than 100 people from across the UK trekked across Dartmoor in the race to become winners of this year's ShelterBox Dartmoor Challenge.
Thirty-two teams of four trekked up to 45 miles over two days carrying an iconic green ShelterBox from the River Dart Country Park in Ashburton.
Twenty-nine teams walked 30 miles navigating a route which they were only privy to 48 hours before the start of the event, while three more teams entered the Elite Challenge — a 45-mile course with on-the-spot navigation.
Dartmoor Challenge organiser and ShelterBox event coordinator, Liz Mulloy said: "The event was a huge success and we had fantastic support from all of the teams who fund-raised for us.
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"This year the challenge was tougher than ever and the teams performed admirably. It was brilliant to see teams crossing the finish line on Sunday with beaming smiles despite the blisters."
Teams had to complete the courses within set time limits using navigation, tactical decision making and teamwork, as well as speed and endurance.
The teams walked roughly 18 miles last Saturday then the challenge continued with the final 12 miles last Sunday, finishing at the River Dart with a prize giving and barbecue.
Winners of the standard ShelterBox challenge were Devon-based team 7 Xtreme, from Dawlish, who completed the gruelling challenge in seven hours and 51 minutes to scoop gold medals.
Hot on their heels were South Devon team the Coast Busters from Teignmouth, Bovey Tracey and Axminster with a time of eight hours and 20 minutes.
In third place, with a bronze medal, were the Fantastic 4, also from the Dawlish area.
Liz said: "This was the first year we ran the elite challenge, which was won by last year's Dartmoor Challenge winners, Dartmouth Rotary Club, who set an impressive pace on both days.
"All the teams showed enthusiasm, determination and incredible spirit over the weekend. ShelterBox as an organisation is incredibly lucky to be able to count such fantastic supporters."
Dartmouth Rotary Club completed the 45 mile course in ten hours and 57 minutes and managed to raise about £1,000 for ShelterBox.
The team, who have taken part five times, is made up of brothers Peter and David Hart, their half-brother Terry Wallis, and friend Adrian Langman.
David said: "It was a challenge this year for us. All four of us found the first day very hard, the second was a lot better after we'd had some rest. The course was definitely harder than previous years – even the shorter day was quite hard. We were relieved and tired when we finished."
It was also the first year the ShelterBox Junior Challenge was introduced for families. Participants followed a 1km trail around the River Dart Country Park carrying a mini ShelterBox.