School students win 30km Exmoor run

In 2015, Luke Collins took on the Exmoor 30:30, running 30 kilometres with a bag weighing 30 pounds on his back. He tells us why he's signed up to do it again.

"Three friends and I were encouraged by our Religious Studies teacher at school to sign up for the event. He used to be in the Armed Forces and competes in ultra marathons himself, and is very good at getting people at school involved in these sorts of events.

"The feeling when we reached the top was absolutely amazing" Luke Collins

"Last year we did the 30km route, coming first in our male group category with a time of around five hours. We started in the middle of the night at around 3am and went at quite a fast pace. We had a tactic to conserve our energy by walking up the hills and running on the flat and downhill, and I think this was crucial in us winning.

"Even though we trained for about four months, it was still really tough – this was partially because of some rain about halfway, which made any attempts to climb hills that bit harder. There was also one ascent that felt like it was a sheer vertical climb! But by working as a team we managed to overcome it, and the feeling when we reached the top was absolutely amazing and definitely worth it. That feeling was probably one of the best things about the Exmoor 30:30.

"At the very end, on the last hill, you get these mixed emotions where you are happy because you’ve almost completed this really tough event, but you’re also reflecting on how, just a few hours before, it was pitch black and you were setting off. You’ve done so much with your group between the start and the end, and it really gets hammered home what you’ve achieved. It was a great feeling.

"We all still talk about it at school now months later. We enjoyed it so much that we’re planning on doing the longer 30-mile route this year. Even though it will be a bit tougher, all you need, to be able to do it, is a good group of friends who are thinking ‘Yep, we’re going to do this and raise some money for a great cause.’”

"We all still talk about it at school. We enjoyed it so much that we’re planning on doing the longer 30-mile route this year." Luke Collins

Related Stories