The annual Welsh race started out as a bet between a pub owner and a hunter.
Humans have a long way to go to catch up to horses in the 32-year history of the Man-Versus-Horse marathon. Since the Welsh race first started, bipeds have won only on two occasions. However, those two victories have come in the past seven years, which is giving hope to bipeds like 34-year-old John Terry who will be taking part in this year’s event.
The story behind the race goes like this: One night in 1979, Gordon Green, a Welsh pub owner, argued with champion huntsman Glyn Jones about the merits of man versus horse. Green argued that a human could defeat a horse in a long-distance race.
“I said, ‘Let’s organize a race,’” recalls Green.
That next year, 15 horses and 50 runners competed on a challenging 22-mile course that winds throughout the Welsh countryside.
Jones, who was riding his best horse, won easily.
The event moved up to the marathon distance in 1981 and proved to be too difficult, so it was switched back to 22 miles.
Green now argues that man could easily win if the race were an ultra.
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