Horse again triumphed over man in the legendary Whole Earth Man V Horse race in Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys, mid-Wales. The event once again saw record numbers compete with more than 495 solo runners, 330 relay runners, and 52 of their four-legged rivals. The race consisted of around 21 miles of tricky, mountainous terrain, testing runners, horses and rider’s endurance and intelligence as they tried to navigate the course’s many twists and turns.
Team Whole Earth out performed all expectations, with a number of exceptionally strong performances. The six athletes who were selected to be part of the inaugural Team Whole Earth finished as a team in first place and included the winner of the women’s competition (Lucie Custance) and second place in the men’s (Hywel Davies). Team Whole Earth were selected from hundreds of entrants in April and completed an intensive training and nutrition programme developed in conjunction with the British Triathlon Federation to ensure they were in peak condition to race.
Following the race, Lucie, stated: “I loved it, it was amazing - I really didn’t expect to be the first woman. I’d love to come back next year, I had such a good time.”
Team Whole Earth is the result of a UK wide search for running enthusiasts who wanted to step up to the next level with assistance from nutritionists, trainers and mentors.
First place went to Geoff Allen, riding Leo, securing first place back to back in 2014 and 2015’s events. The first two-legged competitor across the line was Hugh Aggleton who was also the first solo runner across the line in 2013.
The public were out in full force despite the rainy conditions in central Wales, with interest and support coming from across the UK. Hugh Aggleton of Cardiff was the first runner to cross the line. On completing the race Hugh said: “I’m very happy, I certainly wasn’t expecting to win today but I’m really pleased to be the first man. Unfortunately a few horses passed me, but they’ve got four legs!”
The first horse to cross the finish line was Leo and his rider Geoff Allen commented: “It was great to win it again, I’m really pleased. Leo really performed.” Horses are required to go through three vetting stations - at the start, the midway point and the end of the race and if they fail any checks they are disqualified.
Gill Green, Marketing Director at Wessanen UK, owners of Whole Earth, who also ran in the race, commented; “2015 is our second year as title sponsors and it’s been a fantastic competition once again. Whole Earth Man V Horse really celebrates nature and nutrition has always played a big role in the event. Whole Earth is once again proud to have helped fuelled runners and spectators alike at this year’s event.”
Man v Horse is now in its 36th year and has an amazing heritage, the original idea for the event was conceived in a pub in Wales when the landlord, George Green, overheard two men discussing that a man was equal to any horse over a great distance. Two years later the first Man v Horse race took place though it was 25 years before man (Huw Lobb) finally beat a horse to the finish line.