Mile News

Lessons from Roger Bannister and the first sub-4 minute Mile

May 13, 2014

To go fast, you must plan ahead

By Michael Overall, Tulsa World

With the starter pistol still echoing through the Oxford stadium, Cambridge runner Chris Brasher jumped to an early lead, but he had no intention of winning the race.

A 25-year-old medical student, Roger Bannister, followed Basher into the first turn, shouting at him: "Faster!"

But Brasher ignored him, and Bannister would later thank him for it.

In a carefully orchestrated race at the annual match between the Amateur Athletic Association and Oxford University, all the runners and most of the spectators already knew Bannister would cross the finish line first.

The only question was how fast?

Sixty years ago this month, Bannister set out to become the first person to run a 4 minute Mile —— a feat that some experts, at the time, considered impossible.

More than 1,300 men have done it since. But if that sounds like a lot, remember that more than twice as many people have followed Edmund Hillary up Mount Everest —— a climb he made just a year before Bannister's race.

The 4 minute Mile remains one of the most exclusive clubs in the realm of human achievements. And Bannister will always be the first member

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