Clive v horse!

On Saturday I joined around 500 runners and 40+ horses to take part in one of the more curious events in the running calendar : The Man vs Horse Marathon. This years event was won by a horse (a relay team did finish 1st, but they are not counted in this respect) 10 seconds ahead of the 1st man which must have been some finish to watch.

Its the 1st time I have run that sort of distance (22 miles, 3000ft ascent), so I was pleased to be just outside my target time at 3:35:13 and managed to finish before quite a few horses and about 1/2 way down the field of runners. I found the last 4 miles really hard.

About 60 relay teams entered, each member doing a leg of around 7 miles. I was past by Andy Croft, an Engagement Architect in Sun UK, at about mile 18 who was running the final leg for his team which was a bit of a surreal moment.

One feature of this race which should be compulsory for any marathon is a river crossing a few 100 meters from the finish to help induce leg cramp.

I did manage a spurt of speed in the last 100m as the thundering hoofs of a horse named Socks approached from behind. Funny how the thought of beating just one more horse can help you find energy you wished you had 3 miles back.

This is a race I will do again! Very well organized and marshaled. Horses did not constitute a significant risk of trampling. The course was a mixture of forestry tracks, open moorland, rivers, mud, foot paths and some tarmac (< 20%).

Think I will give the Bog Snorkeling a miss which also takes place in Llanwrtyd Wells, I don't quite have the features for it.

Next weekend is The Red Kite Challange where the course passes within less than a mile of where I live, so it would be rude not to do it!

Comments:

And what a finish it was! Seeing Clive determined to beat the horse after 22 miles had the crowd roaring. Well done and see you there next year.

Posted by Andy on June 19, 2008 at 03:25 AM BST #

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