Man v. Horse, Llanwrtyd Wells – 10 June 2017

The Man v. Horse Marathon began in June 1980 over a pint in the Neuadd Arms Hotel, Llanwrtyd Wells and this iconic event is now in its 38th year.

This annual race pits runners against horses, with runners and riders heading out over the 23.5 mile course and approximately 3000ft of ascent and descent of the challenging terrain of Powys, mid Wales.

The horses and riders start the race 15 minutes after the runners but the welfare of the horses is paramount with 3 vet checks during the race to monitor heart rate, lameness and general condition and any horse showing signs of distress is withdrawn.

This cross country course takes runners and riders through fields, forests, and along footpaths and bridleways. The weather was grim with rain and wind throughout the day making the course extremely muddy, with running water and many streams to cross. The finish point and part of the course was changed this year which meant there was no river crossing at the finish but this change meant the course was 1.5 miles longer with 2 long steep climbs in the last 6 miles.

The horse and rider winner finished in 2:23:03, the first team was the Royal Marines (2:43:32), while the first individual runner finished in a time of 2:50:21.

Chris Smallman finished in a time of 4:03:40 and I finished in a time of 4:38:06, winning a trophy for 2nd FV55.