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Athletes Take On Horses In 26 kilometre Race

Man vs. Horse

Strike up your saddles and hold your horses, the second annual Man vs. Horse Challenge rode into Loch Ness on Sunday, April 21. Dozens of horses, along with their riders, and a number of runners lined up at the Whitebridge Hotel and competed against each other. Yes, you read correctly. Men raced against horses. It wasn't just any old 200 metres sprint around the block, the runners and horses competed over a 26 kilometre course.

Some people may see it as a bit unfair; the chances of a horse winning the race are about 99.9 percent. You won’t see any of the competing runners complaining about this though, as they enjoyed the challenge and the views along the way. While all eyes were on the 42 kilometre Virgin London Marathon which took place on the same day, both spectators and participants at "the other marathon" had their fair share of fun.

Loch Ness racingThe marathon takes place in Loch Ness

The course goes through the Trail of the Seven Lochs and the South Loch Ness Trail where competitors have to climb the Corkscrew, tackle the Fair Haired Lad’s Pass and then take the steep descent to Loch Ness. Some food, horse grooming and a prize giving at the finish line completed a day well-worth participating in if you were in good enough shape. If you're contemplating taking part in the challenge next year, make sure that you are properly covered, although only minor injuries have been reported, it’s always better to play it safe when it comes to adventure sport. As for me, cheering at the finish line with my cake and tea is the best part of any race.

Wading through watersRunners and horses compete

Would you be brave enough to race a horse over a 26 kilometres course? Let us know!

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Caelyn Woolward

Caelyn Woolward

Having lived in the same house for 18 years, Caelyn decided it was time to pack her bags and head out an adventure. The trip took her to the tiny place of Grahamstown in South Africa where she majored in Journalism and English at Rhodes University. Fresh out of university and having lived the student life for the last four years, she is slowly adapting to working at Essential Travel under the guidance of senior writers. She finds comfort in the smaller cities of the world nestled away in Europe, Africa and South America.