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The Man v Horse Marathon: Can a Human Beat A Horse?

Given the immense power and speed possessed by horses, it’s natural for people to question whether other animals could beat them in a race. For example, a man vs horse marathon. In a notable event at Kempton Park in 2004, a greyhound named Simply Fabulous raced against a horse named Tiny Tim to determine which was faster. Astonishingly, the greyhound emerged victorious, crossing the finish line an impressive seven lengths ahead of Tiny Tim in just 23.29 seconds. Although the greyhound’s exceptional speed allowed it to complete the race ahead of the horse, it remained a captivating testament to the question at hand.

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A 22 Mile Man vs Horse Marathon

You might assume that when it comes to a contest between humans and horses, the outcome would be unequivocal. Such a notion aligns with the common belief held by most rational individuals. However, in 1980, a local landlord overheard two men deliberating this very question and resolved that the only fair way to settle it was through an actual race. Thus, the annual Man vs Horse marathon was born, featuring runners pitted against riders on horseback. The race distance is shorter than an official road marathon. It spans a respectable 22 miles. However, when it comes to how to win the jackpot the results may defy your expectations.

A Horse Racing Tale

In 1980, Gordon Green embarked on his usual work routine at the Neuadd Arms pub, never suspecting that a chance eavesdropping would set in motion what would later be hailed as the most extraordinary race on Earth. Unbeknownst to him, a conversation between two men unfolded, debating the equality of man and horse over a considerable cross-country distance. While many would dismiss such a notion with laughter and idle speculation, Green decided to take matters a step further.

Every Race The Runners Were Getting Faster

Thus, an extraordinary man vs horse marathon race was organized, pitting man against the horse. Unfortunately, the outcome was resoundingly in favor of the four-legged contenders. Glyn Jones, atop his faithful steed Solomon, crossed the finish line in an impressive one hour and 27 minutes, leaving the closest human competitor far behind. Dic Evans completed the course in two hours and 10 minutes, claiming the title of the fastest human. But still falling short compared to his equine counterparts. The following year, Evans achieved a slightly slower time of 14 minutes, finishing in two hours and 24 minutes, while the horse and rider completed the race in two hours and two minutes. There was now a glimmer of hope for aspiring runners. So a runner could increase your jackpot winning chances if you were a betting man.

Evolution Of The Man vs Horse Marathon


The distance of the man versus horse marathon falls a bit shorter than a typical road marathon, spanning 22 miles. Yet its true challenge lies in the rugged terrain it traverses. In 1982, armed with two years’ worth of race data, along with many jackpot winning tips and tricks, the organizers decided to introduce slight adjustments to the route to level the playing field. Seeking to inject further excitement in 1985, they made a groundbreaking decision to allow cyclists to participate for the first time. This bold move nearly paid off when Jacquie Phelan, the esteemed US ladies’ champion, came close to claiming victory.

Not A True Victory On A Bike

It wasn’t until 1989 that a cyclist managed to surpass a horse, as British rider Tim Gould crossed the finish line three minutes ahead of the nearest equine competitor. Although this marked the first instance of a human outperforming a horse, it was not officially recognized in the records. The race’s initial intent was to determine whether a man could triumph over a horse using only running, making the inclusion of bicycles a mere captivating experiment. In 1989, the closest runner, Mark Croasdale, finished 16 minutes behind Ray Jenkins and the Doid, the victorious horse and rider.

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Historic Victory: A Human Triumph

After a span of 24 years, a groundbreaking moment unfolded as a human claimed victory on foot in the man vs horse marathon race. Eager crowds gathered at Llanwrtyd Wells, the race’s finish line, anxiously awaiting the arrival of Huw Lobb. With a remarkable time of two hours, five minutes, and 19 seconds, Lobb crossed the line, sparking a suspenseful wait to confirm his achievement. Everyone held their breath, wondering if another participant had managed to complete the race in a faster time. As the results were unveiled, the tension mounted until the countdown led to the announcement: Lobb had become the first human to win.

Man vs Horse Marathon – Big Prize Win

Initially running alongside the pack for the first ten miles, Lobb displayed remarkable stamina, breaking away from the competition and securing a lead for the remainder of the race. With his strong background in marathon running, Lobb not only claimed the glory of victory but also the substantial prize money. Starting with a fund of £1,000, the winning amount had accumulated over the years without a human champion. Consequently, Lobb walked away with an impressive £25,000 for conquering the challenging 22-mile race. Additionally, bookmaker William Hill, who had offered odds on the event, had to honor the winning tickets, adding to the celebratory atmosphere.

Betting Odds Of Man vs Horse Marathon

man vs horse marathon

Before the man vs horse marathon race began, William Hill had given odds of 16/1 for a human to emerge triumphant. With approximately 300 participants in the race, the odds seemed to favor humanity. Having said that, presently no other bookmaker like 22Bet Sportsbook has decided to continue taking bets on this event. The first horse to cross the finish line was Kay Bee Jay, ridden by Zoe White, completing the course in two hours, seven minutes, and 36 seconds. The arduous course encompassed farm tracks, moorland, tarmac, and footpaths. The fact that Lobb emerged as the fastest participant, surpassing all others, is a remarkable feat.

Human Triumphs And Ongoing Horse Dominance

Similar to the belief that breaking the four-minute mile barrier was impossible, the notion of a human defeating a horse in a foot race seemed highly improbable. Yet, just as Roger Bannister shattered the mile record, inspiring others to follow suit, the quest to overcome equine competitors saw a breakthrough after two years of equine victories.

In a remarkable display, Florian Holzinger emerged victorious. He completed the race in scorching weather with a time of two hours, 20 minutes, and 30 seconds. His remarkable feat surpassed Geoffrey Allen on Lucy by nearly 11 minutes, with John Parkinson trailing by a mere minute. However, this triumph was short-lived, as the horses rallied and reclaimed their dominance over subsequent years. Geoffrey Allen, in particular, seemed motivated by a personal affront, emerging victorious in four out of the next eight marathons, each time astride a different horse.

Man vs Horse Marathon – Horses Remain Triumphant

Regrettably, since Holzinger’s momentous triumph in 2007, human competitors have been unable to dethrone their equine counterparts. The horses have steadfastly maintained their grip on the man vs horse marathon trophy, leaving no room for human victory. As of our knowledge, the relentless horse supremacy persists, with no human athlete managing to achieve the coveted win. This means that an online sports bettor could make a killing and win the jackpot online if he knew a bookmaker like 22Bet Sportsbook would begin taking wagers on the competition.

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