Horse Defeats Human in Battle of the Species Race

Man vs. Horse
Photo: Joanna Bryant/Wikipedia

Who would win in a race, a human or a horse?

That’s the question that inspired the creation of a unique annual event in Wales. Though horses are unbeatable by humans over short distances, the Man vs. Horse Marathon aims to prove which species is better over long distances.

Each June, riders and runners take to a 22-mile trail over rough terrain in the town of Llanwrtyd Wells. Participants pursue a cash prize in addition to bragging rights.

The course has been skewed somewhat to favor the two-legged competitors. The terrain is rough and hilly, which makes it more difficult for the horses to navigate. Still, since the race’s inception in 1980 only two human runners have ever claimed the win. Both of those wins occurred on particularly hot days. Horses tend to have more difficulty than humans in adjusting to extremely hot conditions.

Nearly 300 runners on foot and 44 horses competed in this year’s race. The 2010 edition of the Marathon was won by a local amateur rider, Llinos Jones, and her horse Sly Dai. The pair was 10 minutes ahead of the fastest human runner, Haggai Chepkwony.

The humans begin the race 15 minutes prior to the horses as a safety precaution. Several vet checks are set up throughout the race, similar to an endurance event, to ensure that the horses are not overheating.

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  1. To me it seems to make sense that horses would also beat humans in short distance races. Although I guess it depends on what they consider short. But yay for ponies =]

  2. depending on the terrain, idk who would win….but if it isn’t like HORRIBELE…well duh…but i’m still goin 4 horses!

  3. This is a neat race. I love checking out this every year. Actually humans are the best creatures adapted to cover long distances. We can outdo any animals when it comes to heat tolerance and fatigue. The fit versions of us, of course. I couldn’t do it.


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