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  Man beats horse in desert race
Updated 07 February 2002, 08.57
An endurance race through featureless desert
An American long-distance runner has proved that two legs are sometimes faster than four by beating a horse in a 50-mile race in the desert.

The runner, Tom Johnson, finished the gruelling course in the United Arab Emirates just a few seconds ahead of the horse, Al Barraq.

It was the first race of its kind in the region, although endurance horse racing is very popular there.

The 42-year-old runner completed the race in five hours and 45 minutes.

Advantage

He was able to take advantage of rules saying the horse must make two 40-minute food and water breaks.

"It was a big challenge for me and I did it," Johnson said, trying to catch his breath after his victory.

"In the last metres of the race, I looked behind to see the horse approaching so I increased my speed to the maximum and I won," he added.

He said that during the race he was bothered by the desert heat, sand and some stray camels!

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