Five Explorers and one Scout arrive at our house at 3 pm ready to go to Sutton Bonnington to start their Night Hike. We set up camp at the Cricket Club which included four tents and the new event shelter. Nineteen teams took part with some doing a shorter route. Our route was about 10 miles long.
Registration was at 6.45 pm but they were so keen we had to wait half an hour for our slot. The organisers checked they were carrying all the necessary safety kit before they were allowed to get their instructions. These included having torches with spare batteries, mobile phones sealed in bags, compass, correct maps, hiviz vests to name a few.
After getting their instructions they were taken to the start point by their leader Karl. Last year they had to carry an egg around with marks given only if it was undamaged. This year they changed it to a fish in water. I hasten to add that it was a plastic fish. Points were given for the amount of water left on their return. This job for the second year was given to the safest hands, Matt.
At the first checkpoint they were given a box with a cup of water on the top and a balloon hanging off the bottom. They then had to carry the box over lots of obstacles in a field without spilling the water.
Other checkpoints included setting up a cooker, telling the points of a compass not just north, east, south, west but all 16! They had to change socks, to ensure they had spares as per the instructions. They had to light candles which were out of reach! Another interesting one was a grid which they had to cross which had bad squares. If they hit a bad square someone else took over remembering which ones to avoid. It was a bit like Indiana Jones without the hole to fall into!
They only got spooked once when a horse came out of the dark. It was wearing a horse blanket with florescent strips! They were kept topped up with food and drinks during the night by the organisers. Arriving back at midnight they fell into their tents ready for a rest.
The morning saw them up early for teenagers. Perhaps it was the cold as it was really foggy. By the time I arrive to pick up some kit Karl and most of the team had already left. Another leader was amazed at how much kit Martin and I managed to get in our little Citroen C1.
Congratulations to the team of Martin, James, Mat, Manuel and Colin who managed to win the event.