article of WESTERN MAIL 20/05/02, by Helen Morgan,
photos byn Trevor Waters
Horse triumphs over man in annual 22-mile showdown
Mid-Wales: Four legs beat two to win £ 23,000 prize
HOPES of a single runner
defeating a four-legged opponent in the annual "man versus horse"
22-mile race were dashed on Saturday when beast pipped man to the post.
horses and riders took on some 300 people and 60 relay teams in the gruelling
race in Llanwrtyd Wells in Mid Wales.
No solo human runner has ever
triumphed over a horse in the competition but the
money had been on Royal Marine Mark Croasdale, who had warmed up by running the
London Marathon and finishing 23rd.
Croasdale, of Swansea, held
the record for coming closest to winning the event, being just a minute behind a
horse in 2000. And following his decision to run this year, bookmakers
William Hill slashed the odds of a runner beating
the horses and riders from 33-1 to 10-1.
a horse named Druimghigha Shemal,
ridden by Robyn Petrie-Ritchie,
galloped in to take the £23,000 first prize with a time of two hours, two
minutes and 23 seconds.
A relay team called Croasdale’s
Crusaders came in at two hours, 16 minutes and 50
seconds, while the first individual runner was
James McQueen (photo left) who clocked in at two hours, 18
minutes and 52 seconds.
Croasdale trailed in with a
disappointing time of two hours, 27 minutes and 44 seconds after going the wrong
way on the course.
An event organiser said,
"He was very upset that he didn't do his best
but he loves the course and will come back next year
to try again."
The race has been held annually for more than 20 years and each year the prize increases by £1,000.
The cash bonus of £ 23,000
was to win only by the first runner who beats the fastest horse. The winning
rider had to content herself with £ 350, the same
amount as the first individual runner received. There is no finish time by Mark Croasdale
to be found in the official results. He obviously gave up.