Featured Video: Man vs Horse Marathon


The horse was victorious in this year’s Man vs. Horse Marathon, an annual endurance race in Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales. Specifically, Rheidol Petra and rider Iola Evans finished first, completing the 21-mile ride in two hours and 30 minutes.

The first human runner, Owen Beilby, finished in 2:50 at this year’s race, which took place on June 10.

The Man vs. Horse Marathon now has a 37-year history, and humans have only claimed victory twice, first in 2004 and again in 2007. Although horses have more raw speed than humans, there are certain conditions that favor humans in a race like this. Specifically, humans are generally believed to be able to cool more efficiently than horses in very hot conditions.

The course for this race, which is a bit shy of the actual marathon distance of 26.2 miles, starts at a pub called the Neaudd Arms. It was that very pub where the idea for the race was born in 1980. A couple of patrons got into a debate about who would win in a race between a horse and a human, and an annual tradition was born.

Man vs Horse

The course includes several water crossings, goes up and down steep inclines, and at times the path is narrow. This year’s race was extra challenging as windy, rainy weather bore down on competitors and made the footing muddy and slippery for horses and humans alike.

In the video above, YouTube user Monty’s Revenge shares some helmet cam footage from their first attempt at Man vs. Horse. Unfortunately, the tough footing and inhospitable weather led them to withdraw from the race after eight miles. Better luck (and—we hope—better weather) next year!

Leslie Potter is a writer and photographer based in Lexington, Kentucky. www.lesliepotterphoto.com

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Leslie Potter is a graduate of William Woods University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Equestrian Science with a concentration in saddle seat riding and a minor in Journalism/Mass Communications. She is currently a writer and photographer in Lexington, Ky.Potter worked as a barn manager and riding instructor and was a freelance reporter and photographer for the Horsemen's Yankee Pedlar and Saddle Horse Report before moving to Lexington to join Horse Illustrated as Web Editor from 2008 to 2019. Her current equestrian pursuits include being a grown-up lesson kid at an eventing barn and trail riding with her senior Morgan gelding, Snoopy.


  1. That trotting and little loping on the roads really made me mad! Hard ground and horses legs don’t mix! But yes, horses are the winners in time!


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