Looking Back On Bannister’s Incredible Mile

Roger Bannister ran the mile in 3:59.40 in 1954, making him the first person to break the 4-minute mark. Photo: Allsport UK/Getty Images

History was made 58 years ago this month.

He’s 83 years old now, but that’s not slowing down the great miler, Roger Bannister. He remembers that magical moment when he became the first human to go under 4 minutes for the mile as if they were yesterday.

His time on May 6, 1954 was three minutes, 59.4 seconds. He ran the record at the Iffley Road track in England.

“It’s amazing,” says Bannister, “that more people have climbed Mount Everest than have broken the 4-minute mile.”

There is much speculation among running fans whether or not Bannister will be playing any part in the July 27 opening ceremony at this summer’s Olympic Games.

“I think it should be somebody representing youth,” he says about the ceremonies. “Can’t answer.”

Surprisingly, Bannister never medaled in the Olympics. He took fourth at the 1952 Helsinki Games in the 1,500m event.

Bannister lives in a modest flat not far from the track where he made history.

“There was no logic in my mind that if you can run a mile in 4 minutes, 1 and 2/5ths, you can’t run it in 3:59,” he recalls. “I knew enough medicine and physiology to know it wasn’t a physical barrier, but I think it had become a psychological barrier.

For More: Irish Examiner

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