RONNIE the horse won the 38th Man v Horse race on Saturday after beating the fastest runner’s time in Llanwrtyd Wells, but only just.

Joe Dale from London was the fastest runner after completing the 23-mile course in two hours, 35 minutes and 12 seconds.

County Times:

After all the runners were given a head-start, it was a tense 14-minute wait for the first horse to finish the race at Maes y Gwaelod.

Ronnie the horse, ridden by Peter Davies, crossed the finishing line and won the race in two hours, 34 minutes and 49 seconds.

Mr Dale, based at Victoria Park Harriers and Tower Hamlets Athletics Club, missed out on a £2,500 prize by only 23 seconds.

Had he beaten the horse, Mr Dale would have been only the third person ever to do so since the competition started in 1980.

He finished in third place at last year’s race.

Hundreds of people gathered to watch the annual Man v Horse race in 20-degree heat and blazing sunshine.

More than 600 runners ran the route over rugged terrain in the Mid Wales countryside starting from the Neuadd Arms Hotel in Llanwrtyd Wells, where the idea was born.

With the runners setting off first, 13 minutes and 57 seconds later, 47 horses and riders started the 23-mile challenge to cheers from the crowd.

BBC presenter Sophie Raworth officially started the race in the town centre and completed the course in three hours and 57 minutes.

“I loved it, it was incredible! That was honestly stunning, beautiful and an amazing part of the world to run," she said.

"The atmosphere was lovely and there was great camaraderie. I chatted to all these different runners along the way. The horses were hilarious, and I got some good photos. I came under four hours, what more could you want?

“It's been a brilliant day. I'll definitely be coming back next year!”

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Former 400m athlete and Olympic medallist Iwan Thomas ran the race for the second time, this time in four hours and 15 minutes.

The fastest woman to finish this year’s Man v Horse race was Jo Meek from Winchester who ran it in three hours and four minutes.

The race attracts runners from all over the world with more than 20 people competing from the USA, Germany, The Netherlands, Ireland, Switzerland and Denmark to name a few.

Danish runner Finn Lindstra said: “It was beautiful but exhausting! We don't have hills like these in Denmark. I'll definitely come back to race again. Keep up this great event, it is simply a magnificent race.”

This was Mike Thomas’ sixth year in charge as race director. He says the event is vital for Britain’s smallest town:

“It’s been a great day. The whole town has come out to support the event," he said.

"It’s particularly important for local businesses like hotels and B&Bs, it's critical.”