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Last Updated: Sunday, 13 June, 2004, 09:56 GMT 10:56 UK
History made as man beats horse
Huw Lobb
Huw Lobb ran the race for the first time
A man has won the annual Man versus Horse race for the first time in its 25-year history.

Crowds of spectators at Llanwrtyd Wells in mid Wales saw Huw Lobb pick up the 25,000 prize - until Saturday, one of the biggest unclaimed prizes in British athletics.

He completed the 22-mile course in two hours, five minutes, and 19 seconds.

Bookies William Hill had to pay out on scores of bets struck at odds of 16/1.

This year's contest had a record 500 runners and more than 40 horses and riders competing for the winning title.

The event in the tiny Welsh town attracts competitors from throughout the UK and Europe.

South Londoner Mr Lobb, 27, is an experienced marathon runner but he admitted to being "ecstatic" when he realised he had won.

"It is a very unusual event with men running against horses," he said.

race contestants
Around 300 competitors took part in the race
He said he managed to break away from the pack at about the 10-mile mark. However, despite crossing the finish line alone, he had to wait 15 minutes before finding out if he had won.

"When I crossed the line it became a bit of a waiting game to see if anyone had got over the line in a quicker time.

"Then we had a big count-down and then they told me I had won.

"I was ecstatic, I couldn't believe it.

"Everybody was cheering and shaking my hand and telling me I'd have to buy them a drink with my prize money," he said.

It was the first time that Mr Lobb, who has taken part in several marathons, had participated in the sporting calendar's most unusual race.

"I will definitely do it again, it is a fantastic and very unusual event, not something I have ever done before," he said.

The runners
The race brings the tiny Welsh town to a standstill

The prize money for the winning runner has remained unclaimed until now.

Every year, the prize grows by 1,000 and Mr Lobb scooped 25,000 for running the 22 mile race.

"The first thing that I will do with the money is buy myself some decent training shoes," said Mr Lobb.

"Then I may take myself off on some training holidays before taking part in some marathons in the autumn," he added.

Graham Sharpe, spokesman for William Hill, said : "This is a fantastic achievement which I have always believed could be done in the right circumstances."

The first horse home was Kay Bee Jay, ridden by Zoe White, in a time of two hours, seven minutes, and 36 seconds.

Event organiser Gordon Green said it was a "fantastic day".

"It has been brilliant because it is our 25th anniversary this year.

"I've always thought someone would do it one day and today it happened.

"Everybody was excited by the win and I'm sure there is going to be a big party tonight," he added.

A memorial was unveiled before the race to Screaming Lord Sutch who had been a strong supporter of the event.

The race is run over 22 miles and takes competitors through some of the most picturesque scenery in Wales via farm tracks, footpaths, open moorland and tarmac.

Four legs beat two again
07 Jun 03  |  Wales
Horse triumphs over man
18 May 02  |  Wales

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