Human vs. Horse: How a Human Can Win (Even Though the Horse Usually Does)

In the 35 years this race has been going on, humans have outrun the horse twice. Photo via NPR’s Skunk Bear/YouTube

Have you ever run a marathon? I haven’t, and chances are it would take me all day to finish one, if I finished at all. I’m certain any animal could outrun me, but it’s the horse that goes against humans in the annual marathon in Wales.

When we asked you before who you thought would
win this marathon
, most of you answered “horses.” Personally, I’d think so too. But according to NPR, the marathon is one area where humans have the advantage. NPR reports that “our bodies are actually built for long-distance running. We’ve got structures in our inner ears to keep us balanced…, springier tendons than our primate cousins so we bounce as we run and use less energy, narrow waist and huge bottom muscles that keep our trunks stabilized.” Other benefits for humans? “They don’t have to carry a person, they’re nimble on turns and steep inclines and if it was a hot day, they do better at keeping cool.”

So with all those things going for humans, did one win the marathon this year? Well, a man named Hugh came in first at 2 hours and 30 minutes. However, since the humans had a 15-minute head start, and a horse came in just five minutes later, clocking in at 2 hours and 20 minutes, the horse once again outran the human. Maybe next year.



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