Firefighter, Ricky Lightfoot, has become the first man in 15 years to beat the horse at epic off-road running event, Whole Earth Man V Horse, in just two hours, 22 minutes and 23 seconds.
Taking over the baton from Florien Holtinger who claimed the victory in 2007, this is only the third time a runner has ever crossed the finish line before the horse in the event’s long 41-year history.
The winner amongst the horses was Lane House Boy ridden by Kim Alman at two hours, 24 minutes and 24 seconds – two minutes and one second behind Ricky Lightfoot.
The marathon event in Llanwrtyd Wells – sponsored for the seventh time by the UK’s number one peanut butter brand, Whole Earth – saw 1200 runners battle against a team of 60 horses and riders over 22 miles of stunning Welsh countryside. Participants competed against one another across rugged terrain, taking on steep hills, wading through bogs and getting splattered in mud in one of the toughest endurance races in the world.
Team GB Olympian and silver medallist within pentathlon, Heather Fell, competed as an individual runner and completed the race in three hours two minutes and 52 seconds. She was the second fastest female to finish the course. She says:
I had zero expectations of making it on the podium which made my result and experience even more special. What an historic year to take part when the man finally beats the horse after 15 years! It was an incredible experience with such a great community feel. It was just so unusual and unique to run against horses – unlike anything I’ve ever done before. The first time you hear the galloping of hooves behind you, your heart starts thudding. It was a great atmosphere, from the race martials, competitors and enthusiastic spectators; everyone was full of cheer and there was a brilliant sense of camaraderie. We were hit with what felt like every weather season and the terrain was extremely varied and continuously challenging – I’ve never run quite so many hills over a short distance. My legs are totally ruined, but I’ve been left with a huge smile on my face. I would love to return to this event, maybe next year I could find a horse to ride.
We were delighted to sponsor Man v Horse again this year. It’s been great to be back for our seventh race – this truly nutty and fun event was sorely missed over the last two years. We gave participants the chance to try our new super smooth squeezy peanut butter, Drizzler – offering race goers a well-deserved treat and a burst of plant-based protein.
Whole Earth Man V Horse was born from a bet in the back room of the Neaudd Arms in 1980 (the pub which 40 years on is still the starting point for the race) in which two locals argued over whether man could ever beat a horse in a long-distance race.
The quirky race has gained legendary status amongst endurance runners and tickets sell out in record time. Whole Earth Man V Horse will return in 2023.
For more information on the event please visit www.wholeearthfoods.com.
Founded in 1967, Whole Earth creates natural and wholesome foods that are good for you and good for the planet. With a firm commitment on real, down-to-earth goodness, Whole Earth makes delicious, natural nut butters and other store-cupboard essentials that are made with real-food ingredients with nothing artificial added.
Accredited as a B Corp brand, Whole Earth is the UK’s no.1 peanut butter and is best known for its growing nut butter portfolio.
Part of the Ecotone UK family, the Whole Earth approach spans; Healthier People, Protecting the Earth and Reducing its Impact.