Category: wales tourism

Image Credit: rivervalley.co. nz

Man vs Horse Marathon, Wales

 The Man v Horse Marathon began in June 1980 following a chat over a pint (or three) in the back bar of Neuadd Arms Hotel. It takes real horsepower to beat a horse at his own game. Many a runner has put his best foot forward but only one man has taken a horse head on and come out ahead. And not just by a nose. Like all good stories, this one too began in a pub. With a few pints inside him, one man claimed men were equal to horses any given day. Several pints later, it was decided to publicly test his claim and the first race took place in June 1980. From that year forth, the action takes place in Llanwrtyd Wells, host town for the unique horse vs. man marathon. This year will be the 32nd time when over 300 runners test their legs and lungs against that of 20 horses in a gruelling 22-mile cross country race in the Welsh mountains. The first woman to run the race was Ann King in 1981. In 1982, the route of the course was amended slightly to give a more even match between the competitors. The course is slightly shorter than a traditional marathon at a reported 22 miles, but over rougher terrain. In 1985, cyclists were allowed to compete too – and that year, U.S. ladies’ champion cyclist Jacquie Phelan narrowly lost to the first horse. In 1989, British cyclist Tim Gould beat the first horse by three minutes – the first time that a horse was beaten by a human in the race.