A Short History of the Mile

The word “mile” comes from the Latin “mille”, meaning thousand, and a mile was 1,000 Roman strides, a stride being two paces. A mile is equal to 5,280 feet or 1,760 yards or approximately 1,609 meters. Currently, the United States and Great Britain use the mile as a measurement unit.

The mile became “The Mile” near the end of the 19th century when professional foot racing became the most popular sport in England, and Walter George (GBR) was the Mile’s first superstar. Over the next 100 years, other great Milers followed such as Norman Taber (USA), Paavo Nurmi (FIN), Glenn Cunningham (USA), Gunder Hägg & Arne Andersson (SWE), Herb Elliott (AUS), Jim Ryun (USA), Sebastian Coe (GBR), Mary Slaney (USA) and Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR), but it was Roger Bannister (GBR), in 1954, who cemented the Mile’s place in history with the first sub-4 minute Mile – a time many experts thought an impossible if not a deadly barrier to break, and to this day, Bannister’s iconic mark is the watershed moment for the Mile.

In the early 1980s, U.S. high school state federations switched from the Mile to the 1600 meters because new tracks were 400 meters instead of 440 yards and thus, the 1600 meters (9 meters short of a Mile), due to convenience, unfortunately and sadly, replaced the Mile at high school State Meets (except Massachusetts and a few states that run the 1500 meters), but the Mile’s appeal did not and has not died because the Mile holds a special place in Track & Field and beyond. No running distance, or field event for that matter, has the history, the appeal, the “magic” of the Mile. No other event has produced an equivalent of the sub-4 minute Mile standard in the sport, in the media and in the public’s mind. Put simply, the Mile still matters.

This Year & All-Time Lists - Top 10 Lists

U.S. MEN - Top 10

Time Place Athlete Meet Date
3:51:20 2 Matthew Centrowitz Pre Classic: Bowerman Mile 05/30/15
3:51.35i 1 Matthew Centrowitz (2) NYRR Wanamaker Mile, NY 02/14/15
3:53.13i 2 Ben Blankenship New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, MA 02/07/15
3:53.55 11 Leo Manzano Pre Classic: Bowerman Mile 05/30/15
3:54.36i 3 Patrick Casey NYRR Wanamaker Mile, NY 02/14/15
3:54.91i# 4 Bernard Lagat NYRR Wanamaker Mile, NY 02/14/15
3:55.03 2 Matthew Centrowitz (3) Emsley Carr Mile, GBR 07/25/15
3:55.25i 5 Evan Jager NYRR Wanamaker Mile, NY 02/14/15
3:55.27i 1s6 Cristian Soratos Husky Classic, WA 02/14/15
3:55.48 5 Ben Blankenship (2) Emsley Carr Mile, GBR 07/25/15

i = indoors; #Masters world record 

U.S. WOMEN - Top 10

Time Place Athlete Meet Date
4:22.66i 1 Shannon Rowbury Camel City Elite, NC 01/31/15
4:24.12i 2 Shannon Rowbury (2) Sainsbury’s Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix, GBR 02/21/15
4:24.32i 1 Shannon Rowbury (3) NYRR Wanamaker Mile, NY 02/14/15
4:27.18i* 1 Leah O'Connor NCAA Indoor Championships, AR 03/14/15
4:27.49i 2 Treniere Moser NYRR Wanamaker Mile, NY 02/14/15
4:27.86i 1s4 Shannon Rowbury (4) UW Indoor Preview, WA 01/17/15
4:28.02i 3 Stephanie Charnigo NYRR Wanamaker Mile, NY 02/14/15
4:28.27i 4 Jordan Hasay NYRR Wanamaker Mile, NY 02/14/15
4:28.71i 2 Shelby Houlihan NCAA Indoor Championships, AR 03/14/15
4:28.73i 2s4 Jordan Hasay (2) UW Indoor Preview, WA 01/17/15

i = indoors; * = NCAA Indoor Championship meet record 

MEN - Top 10

Time Place Athlete (CTZ) Meet Date
3:51.10 1 Ayanleh Souleiman (DJI) Pre Classic: Bowerman Mile 05/30/15
3:51.20 2 Matthew Centrowitz (USA) Pre Classic: Bowerman Mile 05/30/15
3:51.25 3 Asbel Kiprop (KEN) Pre Classic: Bowerman Mile 05/30/15
3:51.35i 1 Matthew Centrowitz (2) NYRR Wanamaker Mile, NY 02/14/15
3:51.45 1 Asbel Kiprop (2) ExxonMobil Bislett Games: Dream Mile, NOR 06/11/15
3:51.46i* 2 Nick Willis (NZL) NYRR Wanamaker Mile, NY 02/14/15
3:51.61i 1 Nick Willis (2) New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, MA 02/07/15
3:51.72 2 Silas Kiplagat (KEN) ExxonMobil Bislett Games: Dream Mile, NOR 06/11/15
3:51.84 3 Pieter-Jan Hannes (BEL) ExxonMobil Bislett Games: Dream Mile, NOR 06/11/15
3:51.92 4 Silas Kiplagat (2) Pre Classic: Bowerman Mile 05/30/15

i = indoors; *New Zealand indoor record 

WOMEN - Top 10

Time Place Athlete (CTZ) Meet Date
4:22.66i 1 Shannon Rowbury (USA) Camel City Elite, NC 01/31/15
4:23.50i 1 Axumawit Embaye (ETH) Sainsbury’s Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix, GBR 02/21/15
4:24.12i 2 Shannon Rowbury (2) Sainsbury’s Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix, GBR 02/21/15
4:24.32i 1 Shannon Rowbury (3) NYRR Wanamaker Mile, NY 02/14/15
4:26.84i 3 Gudaf Tsegay (ETH) Sainsbury’s Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix, GBR 02/21/15
4:27.18i* 1 Leah O'Connor (USA) NCAA Indoor Championships, AR 03/14/15
4:27.49i 2 Treniere Moser (USA) NYRR Wanamaker Mile, NY 02/14/15
4:27.86i 1s4 Shannon Rowbury (4) UW Indoor Preview, WA 01/17/15
4:28.02i 3 Stephanie Charnigo (USA) NYRR Wanamaker Mile, NY 02/14/15
4:28.27i 4 Jordan Hasay (USA) NYRR Wanamaker Mile, NY 02/14/15

i = indoors; * = NCAA Indoor Championship meet record 

U.S. MEN - Top 10

Time Place Athlete (ST) Birthdate Location Date
3:46.91 1 Alan Webb (VA) 01/13/83 Brasschaat, BEL 07/21/07
3:47.69 1 Steve Scott (CA) 05/05/56 Oslo, NOR 07/07/82
3:48.38 2 Bernard Lagat (AZ) 12/12/74 Oslo, NOR 07/29/05
3:49.31 1 Joe Falcon (AR) 06/23/66 Oslo, NOR 07/14/90
3:49.80 3 Jim Spivey (IL) 03/07/60 Oslo, NOR 07/05/86
3:50.34 5 Todd Harbour (TX) 03/24/59 Oslo, NOR 07/11/81
3:50.34 1 Sydney Maree (PA) 09/09/56 Brussels, BEL 08/30/85
3:50.40 5 Steve Holman (VA) 03/02/70 Oslo, NOR 07/04/97
3:50.53 8 Matthew Centrowitz (OR) 10/18/89 Eugene, OR 05/31/14
3:50.64 3 Leo Manzano (TX) 09/12/84 London, GBR 08/14/10

 

U.S. WOMEN - Top 10

Time Place Athlete (ST) Birthdate Location Date
4:16.71 1 Mary Slaney (OR) 08/04/58 Zürich, SUI 08/21/85
4:20.34 3 Shannon Rowbury (CA) 09/19/84 Rieti, ITA 09/07/08
4:20.93 2 Regina Jacobs (CA) 08/28/63 Uniondale, NY 07/20/98
4:21.78 1 Ruth Wysocki (CA) 03/08/57 London, GBR 09/07/84
4:22.93 3 Suzy Favor Hamilton (WI) 08/08/68 Uniondale, NY 07/20/98
4:23.93 2 Sue Addison (MI) 07/28/56 Nice, FRA 07/15/86
4:24.14 3 Lynn Jennings (NH) 07/01/60 Oslo, NOR 07/14/90
4:24.85 5 Gina Procaccio (PA) 07/19/64 Oslo, NOR 07/14/90
4:24.90 6 PattiSue Plumer (CA) 04/27/62 Oslo, NOR 07/06/91
4:25.29 8 Claudette Groenendaal (OR) 11/01/63 Brussels, BEL 09/05/86

 

MEN - Top 10

Time Place Athlete (CTZ) Birthdate Location Date
3:43.13 1 Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR) 09/14/74 Rome, ITA 07/07/99
3:43.40 2 Noah Ngeny (KEN) 11/02/78 Rome, ITA 07/07/99
3:44.39 1 Noureddine Morceli (ALG) 02/28/70 Rieti, ITA 09/05/93
3:46.32 1 Steve Cram (GBR) 10/14/60 Oslo, NOR 07/27/85
3:46.38 2 Daniel Komen (KEN) 05/17/76 Berlin, GER 08/26/97
3:46.70 3 Vénuste Niyongabo (BDI) 12/09/73 Berlin, GER 08/26/97
3:46.76 1 Saïd Aouita (MAR) 11/02/59 Helsinki, FIN 07/02/87
3:46.91 1 Alan Webb (USA) 01/13/83 Brasschaat, BEL 07/21/07
3:47.28 2 Bernard Lagat (KEN) 12/12/74 Rome, ITA 06/29/01
3:47.32 1 Ayanleh Souleiman (DJI) 03/12/92 Eugene, OR USA 05/31/14

 

WOMEN - Top 10

Time Place Athlete (CTZ) Birthdate Location Date
4:12.56 1 Svetlana Masterkova (RUS) 01/17/68 Zürich, SUI 08/14/96
4:15.61 1 Paula Ivan (ROM) 07/20/63 Nice, FRA 07/10/89
4:15.8 1 Natalya Artyomova (RUS) 01/05/63 Leningrad, RUS 08/05/84
4:16.71 1 Mary Slaney (USA) 08/04/58 Zürich, SUI 08/21/85
4:17.25 1 Sonia O'Sullivan (IRL) 11/28/69 Oslo, NOR 07/22/94
4:17.33 2 Maricica Puică (ROM) 07/29/50 Zürich, SUI 08/21/85
4:17.57* 3 Zola Pieterse (GBR) 05/26/66 Zürich, SUI 08/21/85
4:17.75 1 Maryam Yusuf Jamal (BRN) 09/16/84 Brussels, BEL 09/14/07
4:18.13 1 Doina Melinte (ROM) 12/27/56 Oslo, NOR 07/14/90
4:18.23 1 Gelete Burka (ETH) 02/15/86 Rieti, ITA 09/07/08

*World Junior record (19 and under) 

Records

World & U.S. Outdoor

Time Athlete (CTZ) Location Date
WORLD
3:43.13 Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR) Rome, ITA 07/07/1999
4:12.56 Svetlana Masterkova (RUS) Zürich, SUI 08/14/1996
U.S.
3:46.91 Alan Webb (VA) Brasschaat, BEL 07/21/2007
4:16.71 Mary Slaney (OR) Zürich, SUI 08/21/1985
U.S. ALL-COMERS (on U.S. soil)
3:47.32p Ayanleh Souleiman (DJI) Eugene, OR 05/31/2014
3:48.28 Daniel Komen (KEN) Eugene, OR 06/10/2007
4:20.39 Svetlana Masterkova (RUS) Uniondale, NY 07/20/1998
WORLD JUNIOR
3:49.29 William Biwott Tanui (KEN) Oslo, NOR 07/03/2009
4:17.57 Zola Pieterse (GBR) Zürich, SUI 08/21/1985
U.S. JUNIOR
3:51.3 Jim Ryun (KS) Berkeley, CA 07/17/1966
4:35.24 Polly Plumer (CA) Westwood, CA 05/16/1982

p = pending 

World & U.S. Indoor

Time Athlete (CTZ) Location Date
WORLD
3:48.45 Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR) Ghent, BEL 02/12/1997
4:17.14 Doina Melinte (ROM) East Rutherford, NJ USA 02/09/1990
U.S.
3:49.89 Bernard Lagat (AZ) Fayetteville, AR 02/11/2005
4:20.5 Mary Slaney (OR) San Diego, CA 02/19/1982
U.S. ALL-COMERS (on U.S. soil)
3:49.78 Eamonn Coghlan (IRL) East Rutherford, NJ 02/27/1983
4:17.14 Doina Melinte (ROM) East Rutherford, NJ 02/09/1990
WORLD JUNIOR
3:55.02 German Fernandez (USA) College Station, TX USA 02/28/2009
4:24.10 Kalkidan Gezahegne (ETH) Birmingham, GBR 02/20/2010
U.S. JUNIOR
3:55.02 German Fernandez (CA) College Station, TX 02/28/2009
4:24.11p Mary Cain (NY) Boston, MA 01/24/2014
4:32.30 Darlene Beckford (MA) Boston, MA 03/02/1978

p = pending 

Time Athlete Location Date
COLLEGIATE OUTDOORS
3:52.44 Sydney Maree (Villanova / RSA) Philadelphia, PA 05/30/1981
4:29.04 Angela Chalmers (Northern Arizona / CAN) Westwood, CA 05/16/1987
U.S. Collegiate
3:53.2 Jim Ryun (Kansas) Los Angeles, CA 06/02/1967
3:53.2 Tony Waldrop (North Carolina) Philadelphia, PA 04/27/1974
4:30.36 Leann Warren (Oregon) Westwood, CA 05/10/1981
Marks Made Outside Regular Collegiate Season
3:50.34 Todd Harbour (Baylor) Oslo, NOR 07/11/1981
4:27.31 Suzy Favor (Wisconsin) Los Angeles, CA 08/06/1989
COLLEGIATE INDOORS
3:52.88 Lawi Lalang (Arizona / KEN) New York, NY 02/15/2014
4:25.91* Jenny Barringer (Colorado) College Station, TX 02/28/2009
U.S. Collegiate
3:54.54 Miles Batty (BYU) New York, NY 02/11/2012
4:25.91* Jenny Barringer (Colorado) College Station, TX 02/28/2009

* = fastest Mile run by a collegiate woman - indoors or outdoors 

Time Athlete (ST) Location Date
OPEN
3:53.43 Alan Webb (South Lakes, Reston, VA) Eugene, OR 05/27/2001
4:35.24 Polly Plumer (University, Irvine, CA) Westwood, CA 05/16/1982
4:24.11i Mary Cain (Bronxville, NY) Boston, MA 01/24/2014
High School-Only Competition
3:58.3 Jim Ryun (East, Wichita, KS) Wichita, KS 05/15/1965
4:34.88+ Alexa Efraimson (Camas, WA) Tacoma, WA 05/30/2014
4:36.95 Sarah Bowman (Fauquier, Warrenton, VA) Greensboro, NC 06/18/2005
INDOORS
3:59.86 Alan Webb (South Lakes, Reston, VA) New York, NY 01/20/2001
4:24.11 Mary Cain (Bronxville, NY) Boston, MA 01/24/2014

i = indoors; p = pending; +converted 4:33.29 from the 1600 meters 

Time Athlete (CTZ) Age Location Date
BOYS
6:33.3 Daniel Skandera (USA) 5 Santa Rosa, CA 07/23/2013
5:44.5 Daniel Skandera (USA) 6 Santa Rosa, CA 07/05/2014
5:29.9 Mike McKinney (USA) 7 MD USA 09/19/1971
5:33.1 Darren O’Dell (USA) 8 Roseville, CA USA 06/09/1972
5:19.1 Mike Assuma (USA) 9 CA USA 02/24/1973
5:01.55 Jonah Gorevic (USA) 10 New York, NY USA 06/14/2014
4:50.2 Charles Assuma (USA) 11 CA USA 01/27/1973
4:43.78 Ryan Silva (USA) 12 Portland, OR USA 05/31/2008
4:29.0 Andrew Barnett (GBR) 13 London, GBR 06/01/1969
4:19.73 Ryan Silva (USA) 14 Portland, OR USA 06/12/2010
4:08.8 Jim Arriola (USA) 15 Long Beach, CA USA 06/01/1974
4:06.7 Barrie Williams (GBR) 16 Arcadia, CA USA 04/22/1972
3:50.90 Hamza Driouch (QAT) 17 Oslo, NOR 06/07/2012
3:49.77 Caleb Ndiku (KEN) 18 Eugene, OR USA 06/04/2011
3:49.29 William Biwott Tanui (KEN) 19 Oslo, NOR 07/03/2009
GIRLS
6:05.1 Kristina Wilson (USA) 7 USA 06/05/1971
5:43.5 Imogen Stewart (AUS) 8 Sydney, AUS 12/10/2013
5:32.2 Renee Quigley (USA) 9 USA 12/06/1970
5:14.7 Sandra Beach (USA) 10 AZ USA 03/25/1973
5:00.1 Davida Jackson (USA) 11 CA USA 06/12/1977
4:54.4 Carol Lantry (USA) 12 CA USA 05/22/1976
4:48.8 Katharina Denz (SUI) 13 Los Angeles, CA USA 06/12/1977
4:40.1i Mary Decker (USA) 14 Richmond, VA USA 03/16/1973
4:36.0 Gunvor Hilde (NOR) 15 London, GBR 09/14/1979
4:28.25i Mary Cain (USA) 16 New York, NY 02/16/2013
4:24.11i Mary Cain (USA) 17 Boston, MA 01/24/2014
4:24.10i Kalkidan Gezahegne (ETH) 18 Birmingham, GBR 02/20/2010
4:17.57 Zola Budd (GBR) 19 Zürich, SUI 08/21/1985

i = indoors; SOURCE: Dominique Eisold, Ken Young and Bring Back the Mile 

U.S. Masters 40 and older

Time Athlete (ST) Age Location Date
MEN - OUTDOORS
3:57.91p Bernard Lagat, 40, AZ 40-44 London, GBR 07/25/2015
4:04.98 Jim Sorensen, 40, CA 40-44 Lisle, IL 07/06/2007
4:16.09 Tony Young, 46, WA 45-49 Gresham, OR 05/31/2008
4:25.04 Nolan Shaheed, 52, CA 50-54 - 06/23/2001
4:36.94 Richard Burns, 55, CA 55-59 Portland OR 06/12/2010
4:53.01 Nolan Shaheed, 62, CA 60-64 Portland OR 06/09/2012
5:12.21 Frank Condon, 65 65-69 Los Angeles, CA 07/21/2007
5:37.8 Charles Rose, 70, NC 70-74 Nashville, TN 07/12/2003
5:57.2 Scotty Carter, 75 75-79 - 07/12/1992
7:09.60 Joseph King, 82, CA 80-84 Eugene, OR 08/02/2008
8:22.59 John Hosner, 85 85-89 - 06/12/2010
10:52.98 Bill Lauderback, 91 90-94 Eugene, OR 08/02/2008
14:48.2 Herb Kirk, 95, WA 95-99 - 10/06/1990
WOMEN - OUTDOORS
4:45.68p Sonja Friend-Uhl, 43, TN 40-44 Nashville, TN 06/06/2015
4:46.29 Alisa Harvey, 40, VA 40-44 Philadelphia, PA 04/29/2006
5:07.76 Jeanne Lasee-Johnson, 45, CA 45-49 San Francisco, CA 09/14/2002
5:15.55 Kathryn Martin, 50, NY 50-54 Alexandria, VA 09/01/2002
5:42.51 Lesley Chaplin, 55, GA 55-59 Eugene, OR 07/07/2013
5:42.65 Kathryn Martin, 61, NY 60-64 Franklyn Square, NY 07/07/2013
6:16.28 Marie-Louise Michelsohn, 65, NY 65-69 Durham, NC 05/05/2007
6:47.91 Jeanne Daprano, 70, GA 70-74 Durham, NC 05/05/2007
6:58.44 Jeanne Daprano, 75, GA 75-79 Pasadena, CA 07/21/2012
9:00.52 Gerry Davidson, 80, CA 80-84 Irvine, CA 05/27/2001
11:03.11 Gerry Davidson, 85, CA 85-89 Long Beach, CA 07/22/2006

Last update: December 2014 – SOURCE: USA Track & Field; p = pending 

World Masters 40 and older

Time Athlete (CTZ) Age Location Date
MEN - OUTDOORS
3:57.91p Bernard Lagat, 40, USA 40-44 London, GBR 07/25/2015
3:58.79 Anthony Whiteman, 40, GBR 40-44 Nashville, TN 06/02/2012
4:16.09 Tony Young, 46, USA 45-49 Gresham, OR USA 05/31/2008
4:25.04 Nolan Shaheed, 52, USA 50-54 - 06/23/2001
4:35.04 Keith Bateman, 55, AUS 55-59 Sydney, AUS 12/18/2010
4:51.85 Tony McManus, 62, NZL 60-64 Timaru, NZL 01/07/2012
4:56.4 Derek Turnbull, 65, NZL 65-69 - 02/29/1992
5:19.75 Joop Rüter, 70, NED 70-74 Rotterdam, NED 07/11/2003
5:41.80 Ed Whitlock, 75, CAN 75-79 Windsor, CAN 07/28/2006
6:26.6 David Carr, 80, AUS 80-84 Perth, AUS 06/21/2012
8:04.7 Josef Galia, 87, GER 85-89 - 09/04/1985
10:30.9 Peter Brownbill, 90, AUS 90-94 Melbourne, AUS 06/18/2008
14:48.2 Herb Kirk, 95, USA 95-99 - 10/06/1990
WOMEN - OUTDOORS
4:23.78 Yekatarina Podkopayeva, 40, URS 40-44 Rome, ITA 09/06/1993
4:48.42 Yekatarina Podkopayeva, 45, URS 45-49 - 09/13/1997
5:00.59 Gitte Karlshöj, 51, DEN 50-54 Arhus, DEN? 08/21/2010
5:27.57 Jeanette Flynn, 55, AUS 55-59 Brisbane, AUS 11/25/2006
5:42.65 Kathryn Martin, 61, USA 60-64 Franklyn Square, NY USA 07/17/2013
6:06.58 Rosalind Tabor, 65, GBR 65-69 London, GBR 05/04/2015
6:47.91 Jeanne Daprano, 70, USA 70-74 Durham, NC USA 05/05/2007
6:58.44 Jeanne Daprano, 75, USA 75-79 Pasadena, CA USA 07/21/2012
8:33.76 Hilary Visser, 80, CAN 80-84 Calgary, CAN 05/31/2014
11:03.11 Gerry Davidson, 85, USA 85-89 Long Beach, CA USA 07/22/2006

Last update: December 2014 – SOURCE: World Masters Athletics (WMA); p = pending 

Record Progressions

Time Athlete Location Date
4:43.8 Edward Merritt Mott Haven, NY October 24, 1877
4:37.6 William Duffy Mott Haven, NY September 20, 1879
4:29.5 Lon Myers New York, NY May 31, 1880
4:27.6 Lon Myers New York, NY November 11, 1882
4:21.4 Thomas Conneff New York, NY September 19, 1891
4:17.8 Thomas Conneff Cambridge, MA August 26, 1893
4:15.6 Thomas Conneff Travers Island, NY August 28, 1895
4:15.4 John Paul Jones Cambridge, MA May 27, 1911
4:14.4* John Paul Jones Cambridge, MA May 31, 1913
4:12.6* Norman Taber Cambridge, MA July 16, 1915
4:12.4 Ralph Hill Eugene, OR May 17, 1930
4:11.1 Glenn Cunningham Chicago, IL June 11, 1932
4:09.8 Glenn Cunningham Chicago, IL June 17, 1933
4:08.7 Bill Bonthron Princeton, NJ July 15, 1933
4:06.8* Glenn Cunningham Princeton, NJ June 16, 1934
4:06.5 Gil Dodds Cambridge, MA July 24, 1943
4:06.0 Bill Hulse Berea, OH July 31, 1943
4:02.4 Wes Santee Compton, CA June 5, 1953
4:01.3 Wes Santee Kansas City, MO May 29, 1954
4:00.6 Wes Santee Compton, CA June 4, 1954
4:00.5 Wes Santee Austin, TX April 2, 1955
3:58.7 Don Bowden Stockton, CA June 1, 1957
3:58.6 Dyrol Burleson Eugene, OR April 23, 1960
3:58.0 Jim Beatty Modesto, CA May 28, 1960
3:57.6 Dyrol Burleson Eugene, OR May 24, 1961
3:56.5 Jim Beatty London, GBR August 18, 1962
3:56.3 Jim Beatty Helsinki, FIN August 21, 1962
3:55.5 Jim Beatty Compton, CA June 7, 1963
3:55.4 Jim Grelle Vancouver, CAN June 18, 1965
3:55.3 Jim Ryun San Diego, CA June 27, 1965
3:53.7 Jim Ryun Los Angeles, CA June 4, 1966
3:51.3* Jim Ryun Berkeley, CA July 17, 1966
3:51.1* Jim Ryun Bakersfield, CA June 23, 1967
3:49.68 Steve Scott Oslo, NOR July 11, 1981
3:48.53 Steve Scott Oslo, NOR June 26, 1982
3:47.69 Steve Scott Oslo, NOR July 7, 1982
3:46.91 Alan Webb Brasschaat, BEL July 21, 2007

*also World Record

Time Athlete Location Date
4:51.1 Doris Brown Victoria, CAN August 19, 1967
4:42.2 Doris Brown Seattle, WA June 8, 1968
4:41.5 Francie Larrieu Berkeley, CA June 5, 1971
4:41.3 Doris Brown Tacoma, WA June 6, 1971
4:39.6 Doris Brown Portland, OR June 12, 1971
4:38.7 Francie Larrieu Bakersfield, CA May 19, 1973
4:37.88 Francie Larrieu Austin, TX April 12, 1974
4:33.1 Francie Larrieu Eugene, OR June 8, 1974
4:31.69 Francie Larrieu Wichita, KS May 31, 1975
4:30.98 Jan Merrill West Point, NY May 14, 1977
4:28.2 Francie Larrieu Mainz, GER June 28, 1977
4:23.49 Mary Decker Philadelphia, PA June 30, 1979
4:21.68* Mary Decker Auckland, NZL January 26, 1980
4:21.46 Mary Tabb Oslo, NOR June 26, 1982
4:18.08* Mary Tabb Paris, FRA July 9, 1982
4:16.71* Mary Slaney Zürich, SUI August 21, 1985

*also World Record

Time Athlete (CTZ) Location Date
4:14.4 John Paul Jones (USA) Cambridge, MA USA May 31, 1913
4:12.6 Norman Taber (USA) Cambridge, MA USA July 16, 1915
4:10.4 Paavo Nurmi (FIN) Stockholm, SWE August 23, 1923
4:09.2 Jules Ladoumègue (FRA) Paris, FRA October 4, 1931
4:07.6 Jack Lovelock (NZL) Princeton, NJ USA July 15, 1933
4:06.8 Glenn Cunningham (USA) Princeton, NJ USA June 16, 1934
4:06.4 Sydney Wooderson (GBR) Motspur Park, GBR August 28, 1937
4:06.2 Gunder Hägg (SWE) Göteborg, SWE July 1, 1942
4:06.2 Arne Andersson (SWE) Stockholm, SWE July 10, 1942
4:04.6 Gunder Hägg (SWE) Stockholm, SWE September 4, 1942
4:02.6 Arne Andersson (SWE) Göteborg, SWE July 1, 1943
4:01.6 Arne Andersson (SWE) Malmö, SWE July 18, 1944
4:01.4 Gunder Hägg (SWE) Malmö, SWE July 17, 1945
3:59.4 Roger Bannister (GBR) Oxford, GBR May 6, 1954
3:58.0 John Landy (AUS) Turku, FIN June 21, 1954
3:57.2 Derek Ibbotson (GBR) London, GBR July 19, 1957
3:54.5 Herb Elliott (AUS) Dublin, IRL August 6, 1958
3:54.4 Peter Snell (NZL) Wanganui, NZL January 27, 1962
3:54.1 Peter Snell (NZL) Auckland, NZL November 17, 1964
3:53.6 Michel Jazy (FRA) Rennes, FRA June 9, 1965
3:51.3 Jim Ryun (USA) Berkeley, CA USA July 17, 1966
3:51.1 Jim Ryun (USA) Bakersfield, CA USA June 23, 1967
3:51.0 Filbert Bayi (TAN) Kingston, JAM May 17, 1975
3:49.4 John Walker (NZL) Göteborg, SWE August 12, 1975
3:49.0 Sebastian Coe (GBR) Oslo, NOR July 17, 1979
3:48.8 Steve Ovett (GBR) Oslo, NOR July 1, 1980
3:48.53 Sebastian Coe (GBR) Zürich, SUI August 19, 1981
3:48.40 Steve Ovett (GBR) Koblenz, GER August 26, 1981
3:47.33 Sebastian Coe (GBR) Brussels, BEL August 28, 1981
3:46.32 Steve Cram (GBR) Oslo, NOR July 27, 1985
3:44.39 Noureddine Morceli (ALG) Rieti, ITA September 5, 1993
3:43.13 Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR) Rome, ITA July 7, 1999

Per IAAF ratification

Time Athlete (CTZ) Location Date
4:37.0 Anne Rosemary Smith (GBR) London, GBR June 3, 1967
4:36.8 Maria Gommers (NED) Leicester, GBR June 14, 1969
4:35.3 Ellen Tittel (GER) Sittard, NED August 20, 1971
4:29.5 Paola Pigni (ITA) Viareggio, ITA August 8, 1973
4:23.8 Natalia Marasescu (ROM) Bucharest, ROM May 21, 1977
4:22.1 Natalia Marasescu (ROM) Auckland, NZL January 27, 1979
4:21.7 Mary Decker (USA) Auckland, NZL January 26, 1980
4:20.89 Lyudmila Veselkova (URS) Bologna, ITA September 12, 1981
4:18.08 Mary Tabb (USA) Paris, FRA July 9, 1982
4:17.44 Maricica Puică (ROM) Rieti, ITA September 16, 1982
4:16.71 Mary Slaney (USA) Zürich, SUI August 21, 1985
4:15.61 Paula Ivan (ROM) Nice, FRA July 10, 1989
4:12.56 Svetlana Masterkova (RUS) Zürich, SUI August 14, 1996

Per IAAF ratification

Sub-4 / Sub-4:30 Lists

Chronological Listing of U.S. Men Who Have Broken the Coveted 4 Minute Barrier in the Mile

as of June 6, 2015

The mark listed for each U.S. athlete is his first-ever sub-4 minute Mile as a U.S. citizen. Performance also must be run in a Mile track race – indoors or outdoors. Since 1957, to-date, 446 U.S. men have dipped below 4 minutes in the Mile - Robby Andrews was #400.

On June 1, 1957, Don Bowden (left) became the first U.S. man to break 4 minutes in the Mile and Steve Holman’s 3:53.31 on July 4, 1992 in Oslo is the fastest debut sub-4:00 Mile by a U.S.-born man.

2012 and 2013 produced the most new sub-4 U.S. members, 23 men, respectively.

Additions and corrections are welcome at: media@bringbackthemile.com

Courtesy of Track & Field News at: U.S. Men's Sub-4 List (446 overall)

Courtesy of Bob Phillips / NUTS at: World Men's Sub-4 List (1,370-plus strong!)

 

Chronological Listing of U.S. Women Who Have Broken 4:30 in the Mile

as of March 14, 2015

The mark listed for each U.S. athlete is her first-ever sub-4:30 Mile as a U.S. citizen. Performance also must be run in a Mile track race – indoors or outdoors. Since 1975, to-date, 57 U.S. women have broken 4 minutes, 30 seconds in the Mile. NOTE: women have had fewer opportunities to run the Mile than men over the past 30-plus years.

On February 15, 1975, Francie Larrieu became the first U.S. woman to break 4:30 for the Mile and Shannon Rowbury’s 4:20.34 on September 7, 2008 in Rieti, Italy is the fastest debut sub-4:30 Mile by a U.S. woman.

2014 produced the most new sub-4:30 U.S. members, 8 women, respectively, in the same year.

Courtesy of Bring Back the Mile at: U.S. Women's Sub-4:30 List

Additions and corrections are welcome at: media@bringbackthemile.com

 

U.S. High School Boys Who Have Broken 4 Minutes for the Mile = 7

as of June 4, 2015

There are only 7 U.S. high school boys who have broken 4:00 minutes in the Mile: Jim Ryun (1964), Tim Danielson (1966), Marty Liquori (1967), Alan Webb (2001), Lukas Verzbicas (2011), Matthew Maton (2015) and Grant Fisher (2015) have combined to do it 12 times (5 by Jim Ryun and 2 by Alan Webb - one indoors).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you want to talk about high schoolers competing against high schoolers, the feat has been done only twice, by Ryun (1965) and Verzbicas (2011). Courtesy of Track & Field News: The Fastest Miles in High School-Only Competition: Boys

Father / Son Combos Who Have Gone Sub-4 in the Mile

as of February 14, 2015

To-date, only eight (8) father / son combos have broken 4 minutes for the Mile with John Gregorek and son John "Johnny" Gregorek, Jr., who joined the exclusive club with his father on February 14, 2015 – indoors at the NYRR Millrose Games Wanamaker Mile, the most recent.

Kip & Martin Keino were the first father / son combo to break 4 minutes for the Mile, 3:54.2 (1965) and 3:58.73 (1994), respectively.

Barry & Darren Brown were the first U.S. father / son combo to break 4 minutes for the Mile, 3:58.8 (1973) and 3:59.99 (2008), respectively.

Return the Mile to prominence on the American sports and cultural landscape by elevating and celebrating the Mile to create a national movement.

ELEVATE
Bring Back the Mile as the premier event in the sport, and increase interest in and media coverage of the Mile for both those who love the distance as well as the general public.

CELEBRATE
Bring Back the Mile to celebrate the storied distance and to recognize the people who made and make the Mile great and to promote Mile events and the next generation of U.S. Milers.

NATIONAL MOVEMENT
Bring Back the Mile to create a national movement for the Mile as America’s Distance,
to inspire Americans to run the Mile as part of their fitness program and to replace the 1600 meters at High School State Track & Field Meets across the country.

Become a Mile Maniac member or a BBTM sponsor today! Join us, and go Mile!

Join Us

Thanks for joining the movement and being a Mile Maniac. We'll keep you up to-date with our Mile wires as well as exclusive contests and opportunities. Help us spread the word by sharing our site and joining us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!