In 3hrs 46mins
A creditable time, thanks in no small part to your brutal leg sessions.
One of which I will be having tomorrow. Can’t wait.
Sunday 15th April saw 6 people from PT Troop conduct a 27 k yomp over the Brecon Beacons. Some of the most severe terrain in the Brecons was chosen as the group was so elite. The first feature tackled was “VW Valley,” so named not just because of the extreme series of climbs and descents, but because candidates on military courses crossing it are induced into “voluntary withdraw” from the course.
No non-hackers in PT-Troop though – after 3 hours walking the group broke for lunch at a beautiful reservoir, followed by another hard but beautiful stretch to visit a memorial to a Canadian Lancaster Bomber, which crashed in bad weather in 1941.
Tom of course had to stop and do his Ray Mears bit – a green lizard was captured and make to pose for the benefit of PT-Troop.
After another breathtaking stretch, encompassing features like Fan-y-Big, James Tucker lead a small group to climb Cribyn, the rest of us tired enough already!
Only then, after 7 hours walking the group decided to climb “Jacobs Ladder,” a rocky feature leading to the summit of Pen-y-Fan, the highest point in South Wales.
Dan Brown and Pete Blackman RV’d with Tom at 0430 to travel to Dartmoor for the Royal Marines 30-miler.
This is an infamous test of endurance – tackled by Royal Marine hopefuls only after 8 months of intensive training. Tom decided to give Dan and Peter 6 weeks notice.
A short but ominous briefing ensued in the biting wind on the edge of Dartmoor at 0630 – “…..Mission – to cross 30 miles of the terrain to your front carrying 33 pounds of equipment in under 8 hours, in a state fit for future tasking….”, “…when you cross that cattle grid, the only way off here is to get to the car the other end. There is no other option.”
Navigation was aided by good visibility throughout – and although the sun beat down all day, some solace was found in the thought that part of Dan’s 33lbs was made up of drip packs and syringes. The thought of having Tom sticking needles into veins seemed to galvanise people into constant hydration – each person drank around 6 litres of water and Met-Rx isotonic solution during the yomp.
7 hours 33 minutes later, the group arrived in one piece at Shipley Bridge, where traditionally Royal Marines recruits would become qualified commando soldiers. Further tasking was carried out in the Albion pub…