Powderhall winner is 71

Duncan Mackay
Monday January 1, 2007
The Guardian

The last notable athletics achievement of a year in which the highlight was Jamaica’s Asafa Powell twice equalling his own world 100m record, fell to a 71-year-old former rugby player who had had a minor heart attack in 2005, when he became the oldest winner to lift the trophy in the famous 110m New Year Sprint at Musselburgh.
Tony Bowman, a former Headingley wing, beat opponents who in some cases were more than 50 years younger than him by clocking 12.12sec off a 28.5m start in the handicap race to claim the £4,000 first prize.

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Just 16 months ago the Yorkshireman had a stent - a wire-mesh tube designed to prop open an artery - inserted after a mild heart attack. But it has clearly done nothing to slow him down as he and his partner also reached the last 100 of last year’s Strictly Dance Fever television programme. But this victory on Saturday was particularly special as Bowman has been competing in this event, which is still known as the Powderhall Sprint and is now in its 138th year, for more than 30 years. However, this was the first time he had ever won despite being the favourite in 1972.
“This is one of the great races, and everybody in the world knows about it. Ever since I was a youngster, I have dreamt of having my name on the trophy,” Bowman said after his victory.

"Ever since I was a kid, there has been an aura about the New Year Sprint and I feel privileged that I have joined the list of winners.

"I was always an amateur runner until the sport became open, and I remember being selected for the All-England schools in 1952, so we are obviously going back a bit, but personally I’ve always thought that age is a state of mind.

“My ambition is to get down to my marks when I’m 100 and then live for another 20 years.”

[Winner was a pensioner and runner-up was aged 67! Talk about trying to beat Father(s) Time.]

Pensioner makes history in sprint

Tony Bowman, a 71-year-old former Leeds Rugby League winger, became the oldest winner to lift the famous 110m New Year Sprint at Musselburgh on Saturday.
Middlesex-born Bowman, the evens favourite, clocked 12.12secs off a 28.5m start to scoop the £4,000 prize.

Bowman, who lives in Guiseley, Leeds, said: “I never dreamt I’d even qualify for today and winning the sprint is fantastic. I won four races on Friday.”

Walter Hunter, 67, from Falkirk, finished a gallant runner-up in 12.24.