Four legs win as horse beats man again in Powys race

image captionLlinos Mair Jones crosses the finishing line in triumph on Sly Dai

The annual Man v Horse race in the heart of the Welsh countryside has been won again by a four-legged entrant.

Sly Dai, ridden by Llinos Mair Jones, from the contest's home village of Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys, triumphed in two hours seven minutes four seconds.

Second, and the first man home over the 22 m (35 km) course, was Haggai Chepkwony, aged 40, a Kenyan living in Clifton, Bristol, in 2:17:27.

Man has won only twice in the 31 years of the race, in 2004 and 2007.

image captionHaggai Chepkwony was first man home, but second overall

The event carried a 1,000 guinea (£1,050) first prize, and it began to try to settle a bar-room argument over which was faster over a long distance.

Mr Chepkwony was also first man across the line in 2006, when he was some nine minutes behind the winning horse.

Although he was about 10 minutes slower than the horse this time, his overall time was two minutes faster than four years ago.

Mr Chepkwony, a DHL truck driver who left the British Army two years ago, said he was getting better at the race, and believed that one day he could win outright.

Event founder Gordon Green revealed a plan to double the length of the event to two laps of the course, or 44 m (70 km) in total.

But Mr Green claimed the problem was a shortage of horses willing to take part.

"I have always said that over long distances people can beat horses and it is something I would definitely like to prove.

"The longer the distance the better the chance a human runner has."

The run begins in the town centre and continues through countryside on the edge of the Brecon Beacons.

'Minor bumps and bruises'

A field of 44 horses and riders took on 253 individual runners and 115 relay teams, in front of more than 2,000 spectators.

Huw Lobb became the first human winner in 2004, taking home an accumulated £25,000 prize.

The race is organised by Green Events, which is also in charge of other wacky Llanwrtyd Wells competitions such as the annual bog snorkelling championship.

The Green Events chairman, Lindsay Ketteringham, said: "There were one or two minor bumps and bruises, as there always are, but it's been a gorgeous day".

However, the two-legged competitors failed to take full advantage of Saturday's warm weather, which favoured them as horses overheat more readily.

Mr Ketteringham said: "The higher the temperature, the horses struggle".

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