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Monday, Jul 04, 2022

Man v horse: Powys race won by runner Ricky Lightfoot

Man v horse: Powys race won by runner Ricky Lightfoot

The winner of the gruelling Man v Horse race has revealed he had been awake for 29 hours before the event after flying from Tenerife to claim victory.

Trail runner Ricky Lightfoot became only the third person to win the race since it started in 1980.

He told the BBC he had woken at 06:00 BST on Friday before catching a flight to Manchester at midnight.

Landing at 04:00 he travelled to Wales, arriving at Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys, at 09:00 for the race start at 11:00.

Crossing the line, the 6ft 4in (1.93m) athlete had no idea whether he had won as the people and animals take slightly different routes.

After asking around, he discovered he had come came out on top against 1,000 runners and 50 horses with a time of 2:22:23.

He took home £3,500 after beating the first horse by more than two minutes on the 22.5-mile (36km) course in Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys.

The 37-year-old Cumbrian said winning was "pretty good, like".

Ricky Lightfoot says it was "great to win the event"


"It's great to win the event and beat the horse," he said.

"I called my partner and said: 'I beat the horse'. And she said: 'You're joking?'.

"And I said: 'No, I did.' She was like, 'oh my God!'"

The firefighter said he had been quietly confident.

"I thought I could give the horse a good race," he explained.

Mr Lightfoot's partner was shocked to hear he had beaten all competitors - human and equine


Since his win, he has been asked if he will enter the Grand National next.

"It would be great if I could win the Grand National," he said.

"I've never rode a horse in my life. I once rode a donkey at Blackpool Pleasure Beach though."

After winning, the father of two then made his way home to Maryport, in Cumbria, as he had to be back in work at 07:30 on Sunday.

Race director Mike Thomas said Mr Lightfoot, a member of Cumbria running club Ellenborough AC, beat the horses "quite comfortably" on Saturday.

The last time a human beat a horse in the race was in 2007, and the first time was in 2004.

Mr Lightfoot, pictured left, with boss and coach Dean Pepper, was back at work as a firefighter on Sunday


The race, which returned after two years due to the pandemic, began on tarmac but took in forest tracks and open moorland.

The jackpot prize for a runner who beats the first horse and rider starts at £500 and increases by £500 each year the event takes place until it is won.


Can a human run faster than a horse?


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