Dartmoor Ten Tors challenge trekkers cross finish

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Media captionThe Army says a new route brought in to improve safety on the two-day Ten Tors trek across Dartmoor has been a real success

Teams in the Ten Tors two-day trek across Dartmoor have been crossing the finish line.

More than 2,000 teenagers aged between 14 and 19 are taking part in the challenge, hiking distances of up 55 miles (89km).

More than 280 dropped out of the annual Army-organised event amid poor weather conditions.

The first of the six-person teams back at Okehampton Camp was from Churcher's College in Hampshire.

'Pretty awful weather'

Teams carried their own kit and camped overnight on Saturday as they faced distances of 35, 45 or 55 miles in winds of more than 50mph.

Ben Kelsdon, 14, of Churcher's College, said: "It's been pretty incredible. We got off to a good start and we kept the pressure on.

"The weather was pretty awful. We pretty much walked into the wind for the whole thing and that made a big difference."

Last year the Army announced changes to the route for 2014, which would mean fewer river crossings to reduce the need for air support in poor weather.

Each team also had a GPS-style tracking device to show the operations team where trekkers were.

Brig Piers Hankinson, director of Ten Tors, said: "We have all been apprehensive about the reality and whether it would be challenging enough.

"And it's proved as equally challenging as before."

The Army has asked people picking up entrants to use the park and ride from Okehampton as car parks in Okehampton Camp are "increasingly impassable to all but the most robust 4X4 vehicles".

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