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Saturday, 13 October, 2001, 17:11 GMT 18:11 UK
Horse triumphs over man again
A relay team triumphed over horse power to win the annual Man Versus Horse marathon in a tiny mid Wales town.

The team of three led by former Royal Marine Mark Croasdale beat the first equine rival home at Llanwrtyd Wells on Saturday by around three minutes.

But the coveted 22,000 prize money for the first individual runner to beat a horse was left untouched for the 22nd consecutive year with first sole runner coming in nine minutes after the leading horse.

Charlotte Hobrough,, winner of the TV reality show Survivor
Charlotte Hobrough: Fired the starting gun
The event was postponed from June because of the foot-and-mouth outbreak which has badly affected Powys.

The gruelling marathon sees runners pitted against horses and riders, attracted 160 runners, 21 relay teams and a record 24 horses and riders.

Mark Croasdale and the Croasdale's Crusaders ran the 22-mile course over hills, streams, fields and woods in 2 hours 5 minutes and 16 seconds, scooping a 1,350 prize.

The 36-year-old from Lancaster said he was delighted to win the race

"It's been great - a superb weekend. People underestimate how hard it really is," he said.

"There's bogs and river crossings and difficult climbs. It's a tough race."

It's been great - a superb weekend. People underestimate how hard it really is

Mark Croasdale
Last year Mr Croasdale was an individual runner, as well as part of a team, and narrowly missed out on the top prize, finishing 50 seconds behind the first horse.

His team mates were brothers Mick Hawkins, 39, and Steve Hawkins, 32, from Grassington, Yorkshire.

Television show Survivor star Charlotte Hobrough, from the Vale of Glamorgan, got the race underway while the star of the BBC show Castaway Ben Fogle turned up to take part.

His relay team finished in 3 hours, 47 minutes and 56 seconds.

"My legs are just starting to seize up at the moment," he said afterwards.

"I ran after a complete last minute decision and joined up with a couple of stray runners who I met in the pub."

Ben Fogle from the BBC series Castaway
Ben Fogle: last minute competitor
The first horse and rider to complete the race was Royal Mikado, ridden by Heather Evans from Ross-on-Wye, with a time of 2 hours, 8 minutes and 6 seconds.

It was the second successive triumph for Royal Mikado.

Of the single runners, Martin Cox, from Bath, finished first with a time of 2 hours, 17 minutes and 17 seconds.

The 31-year-old who runs for Salford Harriers said he was not surprised to be beaten by the horses.

"I knew I had zero chance of beating a horse. It's virtually impossible to do.

"I came along on the off chance that one of them might fall and make it more possible," he said.

Bookmakers William Hill, who sponsor the race, had offered odds of 20-1 against an individual runner winning the race this year

The prize money will raised to 23,000 for next year's race in May.

See also:

04 Jun 00 | Wales
24 Sep 99 | Politics
01 Sep 99 | Politics
31 Aug 99 | UK
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