A HAMPSHIRE school teacher proved age is just a number after winning the women’s race at the annual Clarendon Marathon at the age of 54.

Sue Sleath, who teaches at Shakespeare Junior School in Eastleigh, took home the title after completing the 26.2-mile route between Winchester and Salisbury in three hours, 45 minutes and 11 seconds.

More than 1,000 runners laced up to take part in the cross-county race on Sunday along the ancient Clarendon Way.

Sue, who ran in the very first Clarendon Marathon nearly 20 years ago and has competed nearly every year since, said: “I didn’t come first [in 1998] although my time was faster then. I have only missed a couple of years. I marshalled last year.

“In previous years, the winning times for women have been half an hour faster but it was muddy today and it slowed everyone down.”

The Romsey Road Runner, who has also run in the Boston and New York city marathons, won the 50-54 division of the Clarendon Marathon in 2015 but went one better this time around.

The overall marathon winner was 35-year-old Richard Johnstone, a machine operator from Portsmouth, who led the field with a time of just under three hours, 2:54:12.

Four teenage boys from Andover Athletics Club were the first relay team to finish. Dylan George and Paddy Turner, both 13, Jordan Davies, 16 and Jack Butt, 15, won with a time of 3:02:27.

Meanwhile Sam Parkinson, Sarah Sheddon, Sarah Gurney and Susie Perry, from Winchester and District Athletics Club, were the first women’s relay team over the finishing line with a time of 3:17:07.

Runners face treacherous conditions during the race due rain creating a muddy route.

Winchester city councillor and president of Winchester Rotary, which organises the event with their Salisbury counterparts, Dominic Hiscock said: “It has been a tremendous effort from everyone. It is a huge effort to get everyone around the course safely. We were very lucky the hurricane passed over [Saturday] night. But the course was very muddy and runners finishing will feel justifiably pleased with themselves.”

Money raised by the marathon will go towards charities chosen by the Rotary Clubs.