In 1901 Newton traveled to South Africa to join his brother and worked as a teacher. After returning to England in 1909, he decided to settle in South Africa permanently and in 1911 acquired a farm in Natal. During World War I Newton served in the Natal Light Horse as a dispatch rider. On returning to his farm he found it in a state of neglect and after some disagreements with the government decided to generate publicity for his case by running the 1922 Comrades Marathon, which had been first held the previous year.
Although he had run sporadically when he was younger, Newton restarted his running career on 1 January 1922 at the age of 38. Just 20 weeks later, he competed in his first Comrades Marathon as a publicity stunt. Newton believed that a good performance would make him popular with the public, and it gave him the opportunity to publicise what he perceived as "gross injustices" being perpetrated by the South African government in connection with his land dispute. His victory and subsequent success surprised him and set him on a new career path as a... Read More