Mile News

The Joy of Running

June 20, 1955

The warm and personal story of a runner's boyhood, his first experiences in running, his youthful ambitions and frustrations, and how he developed the power he felt within him to become the greatest Miler of all-time

By Roger Bannister, Sports Illustrated

I remember a moment when I stood barefoot on firm dry sand by the sea. The air had a special quality as if it had a life of its own. The sound of breakers on the shore shut out all others. I looked up at the great clouds, like white-sailed galleons, chasing proudly inland. I looked down at the regular ripples on the sand, and could not absorb so much beauty. I was taken aback—each of the myriad particles of sand was as perfect in its way. I looked more closely, hoping perhaps that my eyes might detect some flaw. But for once there was nothing to detract from all this beauty.

In this supreme moment I leapt in sheer joy. I was startled and frightened by the tremendous excitement that so few steps could create. I glanced round uneasily to see if anyone was watching. A few more steps—more self-consciously and now firmly gripping the original excitement. The earth seemed almost to move with me.

I was almost running now, and a fresh rhythm entered my body. No longer conscious of my movement, I discovered a new unity with nature. I had found a new source of power and beauty, a source I never dreamt existed. From intense moments like this, love of running can grow.

As a boy I had no clear understanding of why I wanted to run. I just ran anywhere and everywhere—never because it was an end in itself, but because it was easier for me to run than to walk. My walk was ungainly, as though I had springs in my knees. I always felt impatient to see or do something new, and running saved time.

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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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