City of Portsmouth star Newton shows his class to seal Berlin Marathon victory

Peter Newton
Peter Newton
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Peter Newton produced a superb performance to win the over-70 age category of the Berlin Marathon.

The 71-year-old City of Portsmouth star recently returned to competitive running after a two-year absence.

It was the only British win in the 12 male age categories contested in Berlin

And he showed he had lost none of his ability over the 26.2-mile distance.

A total of 150 competitors, representing around 30 countries, contested the male-70 category.

But they could not match Newton, the former UK No1 in both the male-65 and male-60 age groups, who was competing in his first marathon in the m70 section.

Newton’s time of 3hr 17min 02sec was the slowest of his 35 marathons but places him second in the 2015 male-70 world rankings.

It was the only British win in the 12 male age-group categories contested in Berlin.

Newton enjoyed a virtually trouble-free race but eased the pace in the latter stages to protect a calf problem which had been an issue in the past month.

In 2005, he joined the elite club of over-60 athletes to run under three hours for the marathon.

His first marathon outside the three-hour mark was at the age of 65, when he won the male-65 category at the London marathon.

Despite a two-year absence and limited preparation, the City of Portsmouth athlete, who is unbeaten by a UK athlete in the marathon since 1999, felt confident he could eclipse three hours 23 minutes – the best winning time of recent years – and set his sights on a sub 3.20 clocking.

At the first 5k timing point, Newton had built up a one-minute lead over the chasing pack.

He extended his advantage at every 5k timing point for a comfortable victory.

With the top-eight finishers from eight different countries, the claim of the organisers that it is truly international marathon was well-founded.

Newton now turns his attention to administrative duties as he prepares for the Victory 5 road race of which he is the race director.

However, he will be participating in a few shorter races to maintain fitness.

The prestigious Victory 5 race takes place on Sunday, December 6.

Uganda’s Ben Siwa won in 2014 with a time of 23.30 and underlined his quality on Sunday with victory in the Cardiff Half Marathon.

Gladys Yator, of Kenya, was first lady in 2014 with a time of 26.34.