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
3:50.53 8 Matthew Centrowitz Pre Classic: Bowerman Mile, OR 05/31/14
3:51.82 1 Will Leer Morton Games, IRL 07/11/14
3:52.41 1 Leo Manzano Pre Classic: International Mile, OR 05/31/14
3:52.62 2 Patrick Casey Morton Games, IRL 07/11/14
3:52.89 2 Jordan McNamara Pre Classic: International Mile, OR 05/31/14
3:53.33 3 Evan Jager Pre Classic: International Mile, OR 05/31/14
3:53.44 3 Cory Leslie Morton Games, IRL 07/11/14
3:53.61 2 Garrett Heath Michigan Track Classic: Running Institute Ron Warhurst Mile, MI 08/10/14
3:53.95 7 David Torrence Pre Classic: International Mile, OR 05/31/14
3:54.28 9 Lopez Lomong Pre Classic: International Mile, OR 05/31/14

 

U.S. WOMEN - Top 10

Time Place Athlete Meet Date
4:24.11i* 1 Mary Cain John Thomas Terrier Invitational, MA 01/24/14
4:24.54i 1 Kim Conley New Balance Games, NY 01/25/14
4:26.28i 1 Amanda Winslow BU David Hemery Valentine Invitational, MA 02/28/14
4:26.67 1 Sarah Brown Harry Jerome Track Classic, CAN 07/10/14
4:26.84 1 Molly Huddle Morton Games, IRL 07/11/14
4:27.61 3 Aisha Praught Morton Games, IRL 07/11/14
4:27.78 1 Katie Mackey Falmouth Mile, MA 08/16/14
4:28.02 4 Lauren Penney Morton Games, IRL 07/11/14
4:28.31i 2 Abbey D'Agostino John Thomas Terrier Invitational, MA 01/24/14
4:28.37i 3 Jordan Hasay John Thomas Terrier Invitational, MA 01/24/14

i = indoors, * U.S. Junior and high school indoor record 

MEN - Top 10

Time Place Athlete (CTZ) Meet Date
3:47.32* 1 Ayanleh Souleiman (DJI) Pre Classic: Bowerman Mile, OR USA 05/31/14
3:47.88 2 Silas Kiplagat (KEN) Pre Classic: Bowerman Mile, OR USA 05/31/14
3:48.60 3 Aman Wote (ETH) Pre Classic: Bowerman Mile, OR USA 05/31/14
3:49.09 4 Abdelaati Iguider (MAR) Pre Classic: Bowerman Mile, OR USA 05/31/14
3:49.43 5 James Magut (KEN) Pre Classic: Bowerman Mile, OR USA 05/31/14
3:49.56 6 Collins Cheboi (KEN) Pre Classic: Bowerman Mile, OR USA 05/31/14
3:49.83 2 Nick Willis (NZL) ExxonMobil Bislett Games: Dream Mile, NOR 06/11/14
3:49.86 3 Tesfaye Homiyu (GER) ExxonMobil Bislett Games: Dream Mile, NOR 06/11/14
3:50.26 7 Asbel Kiprop (KEN) Pre Classic: Bowerman Mile, OR USA 05/31/14
3:50.53 8 Matthew Centrowitz (USA) Pre Classic: Bowerman Mile, OR USA 05/31/14

*U.S. All-Comers record 

WOMEN - Top 10

Time Place Athlete (CTZ) Meet Date
4:24.11i* 1 Mary Cain (USA) John Thomas Terrier Invitational, MA 01/24/14
4:24.54i 1 Kim Conley (USA) New Balance Games, NY 01/25/14
4:26.28i 1 Amanda Winslow (USA) David Hemery Valentine Invitational, MA 02/08/14
4:26.67 1 Sarah Brown (USA) Harry Jerome Track Classic, CAN 07/10/14
4:26.84 1 Molly Huddle (USA) Morton Games, IRL 07/11/14
4:26.90 2 Melissa Duncan (AUS) Morton Games, IRL 07/11/14
4:27.61 3 Aisha Praught (USA) Morton Games, IRL 07/11/14
4:27.78 1 Katie Mackey (USA) Falmouth Mile, MA 08/16/14
4:28.02 4 Lauren Penney (USA) Morton Games, IRL 07/11/14
4:28.08 2 Kate Van Buskirk (CAN) Harry Jerome Track Classic, CAN 07/10/14

i = indoors, * U.S. Junior and high school indoor 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
4:28.25p Mary Cain (NY) New York, NY 02/16/2013
4:32.30 Darlene Beckford (MA) Boston, MA 03/02/1978

p = pending 

Time Athlete Location Date
COLLEGIATE
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
American Collegiate Record
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
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

 

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
4:24.11ip Mary Cain (Bronxville, NY) Boston, MA 01/24/2014
4:28.25ip Mary Cain (Bronxville, NY) New York, NY 02/16/2013
High School-Only Competition
3:58.3 Jim Ryun (East, Wichita, KS) Wichita, KS 05/15/1965
4:35.42+ Christine Babcock (Woodbridge, Irvine, CA) Norwalk, CA 05/31/2008
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
4:24.11p Mary Cain (Bronxville, NY) Boston, MA 01/24/2014
4:28.25p Mary Cain (Bronxville, NY) New York, NY 02/16/2013
4:38.5 Debbie Heald (Neff, La Mirada, CA) Richmond, VA 03/17/1972

i = indoors; p = pending; +converted 4:33.86 from the 1600 meters 

Time Athlete (CTZ) Age Location Date
BOYS
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
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
4:49.32i Cory McGee (USA) 13 New York, NY USA 03/12/2006
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
4:33.13 Suzy Walsham (AUS) 16 Sydney, AUS 01/07/1990
4:28.25ip Mary Cain (USA) 16 New York, NY 02/16/2013
4:24.11ip Mary Cain (USA) 17 Boston, MA 01/24/2014
4:32.73 Susie Power (AUS) 17 Melbourne, AUS 12/17/1992
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; p = pending 

U.S. Masters 40 and older

Time Athlete (ST) Age Location Date
MEN - OUTDOORS
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
4:46.29 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
5:46.8 Shirley Matson, 56, CA 55-59 Durban, RSA 07/26/1997
5:57.39 Marie-Louise Michelsohn, 60, NY 60-64 Alexandria, VA 09/01/2002
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
7:13.31 Jeanne Daprano, 75, GA 75-79 Greenville, SC 06/02/2012
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 2012 – SOURCE: USA Track & Field  

World Masters 40 and older

Time Athlete (CTZ) Age Location Date
MEN - OUTDOORS
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
5:48.94 Gerda Van Kooten, 60, NED 60-64 - 07/06/1999
6:16.28 Marie-Louise Michelsohn, 65, USA 65-69 Durham, NC USA 05/05/2007
6:47.91 Jeanne Daprano, 70, USA 70-74 Durham, NC USA 05/05/2007
7:13.31 Jeanne Daprano, 75, USA 75-80 Greenville, SC USA 06/02/2012
9:00.52 Gerry Davidson, 80, USA 81-84 Irvine, CA USA 05/27/2001
11:03.11 Gerry Davidson, 85, USA 85-89 Long Beach, CA USA 07/22/2006

Last update: December 2012 – SOURCE: World Masters Athletics (WMA) 

Record Progressions

Time Athlete Location Date
4:43.8 Edward Meritt 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 August 1, 2014

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, 425 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 (425 overall)

Courtesy of Track & Field News at: World Men's Sub-4 List (1,300-plus strong!)

 

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

as of August 16, 2014

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, 53 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 (to-date) has produced the most new sub-4:30 U.S. members, 8 women, respectively.

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

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

 

The Fastest Miles in High School-Only Competition

as of May 25, 2013

There are only 5 U.S. high school boys who have broken 4:00 minutes in the Mile. Legends Jim Ryun (1964), Tim Danielson (1966), Marty Liquori (1967), Alan Webb (2001) and  Lukas Verzbicas (2011) combined to do it 10 times (one indoors - Alan Webb).

If you want to talk about high schoolers competing against high schoolers, the feat has still been done only twice, by Ryun (1965) and Verzbicas (2011).

Courtesy of Track & Field News at: The Fastest Miles in High School-Only Competition

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.

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