Mile News

Celebrating the enduring flair of the amateur

November 30, 2013

Roger Bannister, first man sub-4 minutes for the Mile, the "perfect" amateur athlete

By Ian O'Riordan, Irish Times

If I was Sir Roger Bannister, the thought of what’s coming down the track next May would be terrifying. Imagine every sporting media outlet in the world looking for you to help mainline the nostalgia trip and explain what it feels like to be the last of the original sportsmen.

Bannister, fortunately, has never lost his lusty innocence, and 60 years after running the first Mile in less than 4 minutes won’t mind recalling his moment in time in all its glorious detail. He’ll be 85 by then – God willing – and the tale of what he achieved on the old Iffley Road Track that afternoon in 1954 holds up today not just for the sporting milestone it created but for the way he went about it.

“I must be the international athlete who trained least,” Bannister told me, in Dublin, around the time of the 50th anniversary of his 3:59.4. “I had worked out, from my knowledge of physiology, what was the minimum amount of training that would be needed to continue to improve year by year.”

Bannister certainly wasn’t lazy: quite the opposite. The main reason he trained so sparsely was because he was also juggling the demands of his medical studies at Oxford, and actually did a round at St. Mary’s hospital in London on the very morning of his historic run, partly so that he could sharpen his race spikes in the physiology lab. Just six weeks later Bannister completed his medical degree.

Continue reading at:

Tags: roger bannister (175)

Facebook Comments

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

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.

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.

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!