Mike Wardian, 45, of Arlington, Va. did not succeed at outrunning all the horses at the 40th anniversary of Whole Earth Man v. Horse Marathon in Wales yesterday, but he did pretty well nonetheless, placing third among the humans and finishing in 2:34:03.
— Susie Chan (@Susie__Chan) June 8, 2019
The race is not actually a full marathon–it’s 35 kilometres of rugged hills and river crossings. Two horses and riders finished before any humans, the winning time being 2:18:34. The first human was British ultrarunner Jack Wood in 2:23:39, and second was New Zealand marathoner Paul Martelletti in 2:32:38.
Wardian says he was passed by several horses around the 10-mile mark, but got ahead of them again during their mandatory vet checks. He was then caught by the leading horse and rider about 5K from the finish. “Man, was it cool to get to run next to them, so powerful, graceful and neat to see how they navigate the course,” Wardian posted about the experience of racing against horses.
The race has been taking place at Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales every June for 40 years. Humans have only won twice during that time.