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A small town in Powys hit the world’s headlines in mid June when a runner out-raced a horse for only the third time in four decades

by Webmaster, 15th June 2022

A small town in Powys hit the world’s headlines in mid June when a runner out-raced a horse for only the third time in four decades

Llanwrtyd Wells has a somewhat eccentric reputation as the home of the rather bonkers pursuit of bog snorkelling, but almost as crazy is the annual Man v Horse race.

The event began in June 1980 following a chat over a pint in the back bar of the Neuadd Arms Hotel. The then Landlord, Gordon Green, overheard two men discussing the relative merits of men and horses running over mountainous terrain. Gordon decided to put it to the test and the now internationally acclaimed event, Man v Horse began.

Thirty-seven year-old runner, Ricky Lightfoot, a firefighter from Cumbria, became just the third human in 40 years to beat a horse in the 22.5 mile race on the 11th June. 

The gruelling race over mountainous terrain is not for the fainthearted and it took the experienced fell runner 2:22:23 to reach the finish line. The first equine, Lane House Boy, ridden by Kim Alman, was close on his heels and finished just two minutes behind. After the race Ricky commented; ‘It's great to win the event. I called my partner and said: “I beat the horse.” And she said: “You're joking?” And I said: “No, I did.” She was like, “oh my God!”’ As well as the glory of victory, Ricky won £3,500 in prize money.

If you’re interested in taking up the Man v Horse challenge next year, either on two feet or four, visit: www.green-events.co.uk

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