Mile News

Breaking the Four-Minute Mile

May 28, 2014

"When I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn’t have it in the beginning."

BY Mark Schnurman, The Commercial Observer

I possess a childlike exuberance and take special pleasure when individuals achieve the unprecedented. Sixty years ago this month Roger Bannister accomplished such a feat.  On May 6th, 1954, Bannister became the first human to run a sub 4-minute Mile. Prior to this moment many in the medical and running communities considered the 4-minute Mile “unconquerable”. So great was the perceived barrier that Bannister stated, somewhat facetiously, “Doctors and scientists said that breaking the 4-minute Mile was impossible, that one would die in the attempt. Thus, when I got up from the track after collapsing at the finish line, I figured I was dead.”

Runners flirted with the 4-minute Mile for decades, unable to eclipse the mark. But a funny thing happened soon after Bannister’s accomplishment: runner after runner broke the 4-minute Mile. It is now commonplace for elite runners, and even the occasional high school star, to eclipse the mark.

This brings us to the seminal questions: Why was Bannister able to do what no one before him could? And, why could so many do the impossible soon after?

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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.

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