Whole Earth, the natural and wholesome food brand owned by Wessanen UK, has sponsored its fifth consecutive Man V Horse – as the UK’s most extreme off-road running event celebrated its 39th year overall.

As the name suggests, the annual race pits men (and women) against horses, with runners and riders heading out over 21 miles of the challenging terrain of Powys, mid-Wales.

This year’s event saw top athletes and plucky novices taking on the challenging course as part of Team Whole Earth – a group of runners acting as Whole Earth brand ambassadors before, during and immediately after the event.

Leading Team Whole Earth was expert endurance runner, Susie Chan, Team GB Ultra Marathon runner, Robbie Britton, and ultra-runner and sports nutritionist, Alex Cook. These runners acted as fitness and nutrition mentors to the remaining members of Team Whole Earth, who were chosen to run the race after entering a competition in a specialist running magazine.

Pictured: Team Whole Earth

Newsreader and journalist, Sophie Raworth and ex-Olympian Iwan Thomas also took on the challenge. Iwan was documenting the event on behalf of BBC’s The One Show – which will help increase awareness for the event, and its sponsor, once broadcast. The event also received plenty of national and regional press attention this year including Mail Online, MSN, AOL and Shropshire Star.

Pictured: Susie Chan and Iwan Thomas

The perfect fuel for sport, Whole Earth branding was visible across photo boards, on the medals and throughout the course with banners, signage and a large inflatable jar of peanut butter positioned at the finish line.

To engage with participants and encourage trial, Whole Earth sampled wholesome, energy-rich peanut butter snacks, including its nutritious Power Balls.

Kirstie Hawkins, Whole Earth brand controller at Wessanen UK comments:

“We’re very proud to have sponsored the Whole Earth Man V Horse Marathon for another year. Man V Horse is the perfect match for Whole Earth; it’s fun, natural and completely nutty. You couldn’t miss our branding at the event – Whole Earth plays a huge part in the runner’s experience. As part of our nature’s wonderfuel marketing strategy, we’re continuing to deepen the brand’s association with sport. As a natural source of protein, Whole Earth can fuel fitness fans through their workouts and help with post-event recovery.”

Over 1,500 runners battled across tough terrain to cross the finish line before the 60 competing horses, with the horse winning this year by just 23 seconds. The quirky race has gained legendary status amongst endurance runners and tickets sold out in record time.

Pictured: Peter Davies on Ronnie the horse were declared winners of the 39th annual Whole Earth Man v Horse

Whole Earth is also a sponsor of The British Triathlon Federation and on the same day sponsored the ITU World Triathlon event in Leeds.

Visit www.wholeearthfoods.com for more information on Whole Earth and Man V Horse.

Pictured: Sophie Raworth