Roger Bannister

Birthday: 03/23/29 Mile PR: 3:58.8 - 1954
Metric Mile (1500m) PR: 3:42.2 - 1954
High School: City of Bath Boys' School
Hometown: Harrow, England
College: Exeter College, Merton College, Oxford & St. Mary's Hospital Medical School

Roger Bannister of Great Britain etched his name into the history books by becoming the first man to break the "once thought impossible if not fatal", but magical 4 minute barrier in the Mile. On Thursday evening, May 6, 1954 at Oxford’s Iffley Road track, the 1952 Olympian ran 3:59.4. His world record only lasted 46 days, but its historic and iconic importance resonates today in the sport and beyond.

At the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver, Canada, Bannister beat the only other man at the time to run sub-4 minutes, John Landy of Australia. This thrilling race has been called The Mile of the Century or Miracle Mile. For the first time in the same Mile race, two men broke 4 minutes with Bannister clocking a PR 3:58.8 followed by the Aussie in 3:59.6.

In his career, Bannister only bested 4 minutes twice, but in two epic, still discussed Mile races, and also in 1954, he won the 1500m gold medal at the European Championships in Bern, Switzerland - this was his last competitive race.

In November 2005, Forbes magazine named his historic sub-4 clocking the Greatest Athletic Achievement of the past 150 years! The Briton was also the inaugural recipient of the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year award for 1954.

Did you know? As the first chairman of the British Sports Council (1971-74), he gathered a group of chemists to develop the first ever test for anabolic steroids.

Roger Bannister, the man who made the mile, The Mile, passed away on Saturday, March 3, 2018.

FUN FACTS: Bannister, who later became a famed neurologist, became Sir Roger Bannister when knighted in 1975 by Queen Elizabeth for his British Sports Councril contributions. #Legend

Full historic race video with wonderful Bannister commentary


CBS Sunday Morning, May 2, 2004


Roger Bannister: Tribute to a Titan

March 05, 2018

Briton broke barrier, set a still resonating, recognized standard and transcended the sport

By Ryan Lamppa, Bring Back the Mile founder

We knew this day would come: the death of a great man – a universally enduring, esteemed and endearing legend in every sense of the word as worldwide homage,...

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Bannister’s Sub-4 Minute Mile Named Greatest Athletic Achievement

November 18, 2005

For Forbes' panel of experts, editors and readers, one feat did emerge as a clear winner: the first sub-4 by Roger Bannister in 1954

By David M. Ewalt with Lacey Rose,

At their best, sports are about more than just winning games and diverting crowds. They test the limits of what...

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Sub-4 fever as the ultimate milestone approaches

April 30, 2024

Oxford is the place to be next Monday for the 70th anniversary celebration of Roger Bannister’s iconic, historic 3:59.4 Mile

By Jason Henderson, Athletics Weekly

Monday, May 6 marks one of the most important anniversaries in the sport. It will be 70 years since Roger Bannister became the...

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Oxford to celebrate 70th anniversary of Bannister’s sub-4 with Mile Festival

March 11, 2024

The greatest athletic achievement of the 20th century will see a community mass Mile in Oxford city center together with BMC races at Iffley Road and much more on Monday, May 6

From Jason Henderson, Athletics Weekly

On May 6 in 1954, a 25-year-old medical student called Roger Bannister...

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Sir Roger Bannister honored with memorial stone

October 02, 2021

The diamond-shaped memorial, made of Blue Purbeck marble is close to the graves of Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Professor Stephen Hawking.

From Westminster Abbey

A memorial stone to Sir Roger Bannister CH CBE was dedicated in Westminster Abbey on Tuesday, September 28, 2021. Sir Roger...

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Great moments: Bannister’s sub-4 Mile

December 12, 2020

“The stopwatches held the answer. The announcement came – ‘Result of one Mile … time, three minutes’ – the rest lost in the roar of excitement.”

By Jason Henderson, Athletics Weekly

As part of our series on the most momentous occasions from the past 75 years to celebrate the diamond...

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How Bannister trained for and ran his sub-4 minute Mile

May 09, 2020

Progressive overload was achieved not by increasing the number of repetitions, nor by reducing the recovery, but rather more simply by incrementally increasing the speed of the reps.

By Tim Brennan & Matt Long, Athletics Weekly

Nearly 2,000 athletes have paid their own tribute to the great...

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Bannister, Charles among the honorees at World Athletics Heritage Mile Night celebration

November 21, 2019

Evening in Monaco recognized Mile history, record setting legends and iconic events

From World Athletics

Roger Bannister and Diane Leather Charles, who respectively became the first man to run the Mile in under 4 minutes and the first woman to break the 5 minute barrier for the iconic...

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Bannister: Everest on the Track takes FICA Golden Achilles prize

November 12, 2019

“The first full version came out in 2016 and then the film has been revised since then in 2018 to take account of Roger’s death. We had many wonderful interviews and it was a case of weaving them together into a coherent film.”

By Phil Minshull for the IAAF

The US-produced film "Bannister:...

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Fab Five Mile Races

August 27, 2019

“I felt I could not have run a more perfect race.”

Steve Landells for the IAAF

The IAAF takes a look back at five unforgettable, historic races over the classic Mile distance.

1954 – Oxford, England

Roger Bannister’s Mile world record may have only lasted a mere 46 days but his place...

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Miracle Mile’s starter gun shell donated to Sports Hall

March 11, 2019

The tiny, rare artifact is engraved with the time & date of the legendary race between Roger Bannister & John Landy

By John Mackie, The Vancouver Sun

The Miracle Mile was the highlight of the British Empire Games in 1954. That Saturday, Aug. 7, an excited 35,000 people jammed Empire Stadium...

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Oxford to pay tribute to Sir Roger Bannister

March 03, 2019

The first anniversary of the death of Oxford icon Sir Roger Bannister to be commemorated

By Tom Williams, Oxford Mail

On Monday, March 4, the city will pay tribute to one of its most celebrated heroes, the neurologist who became the first person to conquer the sub-4 minute Mile.


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Sir Roger Bannister coin celebrates 50th anniversary of 50 pence piece

January 15, 2019

“We’re delighted to be revealing the special 50p British Culture commemorative coin set to mark this historic anniversary, which features some of the nation’s most loved 50 pence pieces.”

By Tom Williams, Oxford Times

A rare coin featuring Oxford icon Sir Roger Bannister is helping to mark...

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My Quest for Sir Roger

January 08, 2019

Our moment with Sir Roger was just as inspiring. Greeting my daughters and asking them their names and how old they were was just the beginning of a grand few minutes.

By Jeff Benjamin, RunBlogRun

I was running late.

Leaving my teaching job on Staten Island to travel to New York City during...

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Oxford remembers life of Sir Roger Bannister at Sheldonian ceremony

November 17, 2018

"It is rare to make such an impact in 4 minutes and rarer still for one act to have such a resonance... The world of sport needs its heroes and he will forever be one of its greatest."

By Tom Williams, Oxford Mail

In a rare coming together of all tenets of city life, a service in the...

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Commonwealth Sports Moment #1: Roger Bannister beats John Landy in the “Miracle Mile”

October 15, 2018

"If I didn’t manage to defeat John Landy there, he would be the world record holder and have the right to be the best Miler in the world."

By Duncan Mackay, Editor,

The build-up to the Mile at the 1954 British Empire Games in Vancouver on Saturday, August 7 was more like a...

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Celebrating the life of Sir Roger Bannister

September 11, 2018

Friends and colleagues, including Steve Cram, came together to celebrate the Imperial alumnus, esteemed neurologist and runner of the first sub-4 minute Mile.

By Joanna Wilson, Imperial News

At the event, which took place at the Royal College of Physicians, recollections of the medical life...

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Oxford City Council proposes renaming ward to honor Roger Bannister

August 16, 2018

"A small way the city can honor that connection with him and it seems entirely appropriate considering this area includes the track in which he made that absolutely astonishing historic achievement.”

By Isabel Morris, Cherwell

Oxford City Council has proposed changing the name of St....

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Sir Roger Bannister’s Pearl Street Mile advice

August 06, 2018

"I think the thing they want to do is not to set off too fast at the start. After the half-mile, start moving up."

By Mike Sandrock for Daily Camera

"Sir Roger?"

"Yes, how can I help you?"

Bingo! I was on the phone with Sir Roger Bannister, the English neurologist who on May 6, 1954,...

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Bannister Mile Series launched by British Milers Club

April 05, 2018

Inaugural series to honor & celebrate the memory of first sub-4 man and founding BMC president

By Athletics Weekly

The British Milers Club is staging a new Bannister Mile Series in memory of Sir Roger Bannister, who died last month aged 88.

Sir Roger ran the world’s first sub-4 minute Mile...

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Finishing the Race

March 10, 2018

It is hard to put into words the impact Roger Bannister had, not just on me, but on the world.

By Jim Ryun

When I heard the news of Roger Bannister’s death last week at the age of 88, I recalled the first time I ever heard of Bannister, in the spring of 1963.

I was rattling back to Wichita...

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The Photo that Captured the First Sub-4 Minute Mile

March 09, 2018

Beyond the significance of Bannister’s triumph, this was one of the very first action photographs to record the climactic moment of a major sporting event.

By David Davis,

Sir Roger Bannister died over the weekend at the age of 88 and, as to be expected, the glowing obituaries...

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The Ordinary Greatness of Roger Bannister

March 06, 2018

The 4 minute barrier had daunted runners for generations, but Bannister intended to break through it so that others might follow. And they did.

By Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker

The remarkable—and frustrating—thing about watching Roger Federer hit a forehand is that it is impossible to...

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Roger Bannister (1929-2018)

March 03, 2018

But for most, the image of Bannister will forever be the long-limbed athlete, with his head thrown back, breaking the tape on a blustery May evening in 1954.

From the BBC

Roger Bannister, who has died at the age of 88, was the first man to run a Mile in under 4 minutes.

Sir Roger, who was...

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The Miracle Mile 1954: A Moment in Time Prints Available

December 12, 2017

Limited number of Bannister-Landy signed prints so order this Mile collectible today!

It has come to Bring Back the Mile’s attention that a limited number of autographed prints of “The Moment” when John Landy turned the wrong way as Roger Bannister passed him in the home stretch to win “The...

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Bannister’s epochal sub-4 minute Mile record-smashing run

October 21, 2017

Bannister raced for two more events then retired to concentrate on his medical career. His niche in sport history forever assured.

By Eddie G. Alinea, The Manila Times

Many had come close to it, but were eventually thwarted as if held back by powers unseen and demonic.

They all were, until...

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The Roger Bannister Effect: The Myth of the Psychological Breakthrough

May 30, 2017

The stagnation was attributed to the war and the breakthrough was a return to sport along the modernization of training.

By The Science of Running

The story goes that Roger Bannister crushed the 4 minute Mile mark, and allowed runners to dream of the impossible. No longer held back by this...

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Sporting legend Roger Bannister calls for “optimism” ahead of Olympic Games

August 06, 2016

"There will always be failures, wrongdoing and cheating in every human endeavour. Britain should be bursting with pride over our Froomes, Murrays, Ennis-Hills and Mo Farahs. They inspire amateur athletes all over the world."

By Hannah Somerville, Oxford Mail

Sporting legend Roger Bannister...

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(Sir) Roger and Me

July 30, 2016

“As I have said, winning Olympic races is more important than the 4 minute Mile. It so happens that the rest of the world thinks otherwise.” - Sir Roger Bannister

By Pat Butcher,

Oh dear! I watched Everest on the Track, the documentary of Roger Bannister and the 4 minute Mile...

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Book details 1954 Empire Games glory and ‘Miracle Mile’

April 20, 2016

We have in the BC Sports Hall of Fame collection one of the 25 Omega stopwatches that was used to time the Miracle Mile and unbelievably it’s still stopped at Roger Bannister’s winning time of 3 minutes, 58.8 seconds!

By Megan Stewart, The Vancouver Courier

The stand-alone image of the 1954...

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Sir Roger Bannister donates diaries to Oxford’s library

March 25, 2016

Mile legend's collection filled more than 50 boxes, includes letters, diaries, speeches, articles, photographs and film from his career over the years.

By Sports Illustrated Wire

Sir Roger Bannister celebrated his 87th birthday by making his diaries public for the first time at Oxford's...

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Sir Roger Bannister part of Reading’s Year of Culture

January 05, 2016

Mile legend will be looking back at his own personal achievements, including the first sub-4 minute Mile and more.

By Slough & South Bucks Observer

British athletics legend, Sir Roger Bannister, will be the first Reading 2016 ‘An Audience With…’ at Reading Town Hall on Monday, January 18.

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Athletics Weekly’s 70th birthday: Moments in time

December 11, 2015

First sub-4 minute Mile one such memorable moment:
“So the Everest of athletics has been scaled, the sound barrier of running has been penetrated. Roger Gilbert Bannister, 25-year-old medical student, may never find the panacea for all ills the human flesh is heir to, but he has found the...

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Phil Knight: I would have tried to sign Roger Bannister

October 01, 2015

“A lot of people said it was impossible. I was a junior in high school [when Bannister broke the 4 minute barrier] and my history teacher says, ‘The stopwatches were wrong, a human being can’t run that fast.'”

By Nick Zaccardi, NBC Sports

It’s no surprise that Nike co-founder Phil Knight,...

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The day Sir Roger Bannister reclaimed the 4 minute Mile

June 08, 2015

46 days after Sir Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute Mile, his world record fell to John Landy. Here the athlete reflects on the day he won back his title.

By Roger BannisterThe Telegraph

This photograph captures the moment I overtook the Australian runner John Landy on the final bend at...

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Laced with sporting history: The last tangible link to Bannister’s sub-4 Mile

May 23, 2015

Christie’s to auction the shoes worn by Sir Roger Bannister when he became the first man to run a sub-4 minute Mile, described as the ‘greatest athletic achievement of the 20th century’

From Christie's The Art People

The running shoes worn by Sir Roger Bannister CBE when he became the first...

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Roger Bannister’s shoes from 4 minute Mile set for auction

May 20, 2015

Bannister said part of the proceeds from the shoes auction will go to a charity that encourages neurological research, according to the auction company.

By Nick Zacardi, NBC Olympic Talk

The shoes Sir Roger Bannister wore when he ran the first sub-4 minute Mile will be auctioned September 10...

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Sir Roger record watch sold for £20,000

May 19, 2015

“I’m not surprised that the watch went for so much money as there has been a great interest in it. It is one of the most special watches.”

From Oxford Mail

The stopwatch used to record Sir Roger Bannister’s first sub-4 minute Mile record in Oxford sold for £20,000 ($31,000) yesterday.


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Sir Roger reminisces about breaking Mile record

May 09, 2015

“We would always have a reunion with our wives and meet up on the anniversary. That’s what it used to be. Unfortunately I’m alone now.”

By Oxford Mail

Sir Roger Bannister celebrated the 61st anniversary of the day he broke the 4 minute Mile barrier in Oxford.

He made sporting history on...

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Sir Roger Bannister’s new “record” from Guinness

December 12, 2014

“To be a record breaker I think you have to have determination and you have to be prepared for upsets and reverses which I certainly had in my career. The other factor is luck."

From Oxford Mail

Sub-4 minute Mile hero Sir Roger Bannister has been honored by Guinness World Records to mark 60...

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The 4 minute Mile: How the Daily Express reported it 60 years ago

September 27, 2014

One of the greatest feats ever achieved by a British athlete almost never took place...

By Dominic Midgley, Daily Express

It was the behavior of a Cross of St. George flag flying on the steeple of St. John's Church near the Iffley Road track in Oxford on Thursday, May 6, 1954 that persuaded...

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Bannister vs. Landy 1954 showdown, Coe’s 1984 gold medal defense still resonate

August 10, 2014

"Yes, Landy has a lead of three yards. It's 220 yards to go and I don't believe Bannister is going to be able to catch him..."

By Mike Rowbottom,

Significant anniversaries of two great foot races fall either side of this weekend - races won by two Britons who, through their...

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How the sports landscape looked when SI printed first issue in 1954

August 09, 2014

But in 1954 all sports stories were overshadowed by what happened on a track in England on May 6.

By Richard Rothschild, Sports Illustrated

Imagine a sports landscape ruled by baseball, where college football is more popular than the National Football League, horse racing and boxing draw...

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Mile Moment of the Month: The Mile of the Century – Bannister vs. Landy 1954

August 07, 2014

First time two men go sub-4 minutes in the same Mile race

By Bring Back the Mile

Sixty years ago, on Saturday, August 7, at the 1954 British Empire & Commonwealth Games in Vancouver, Canada, the world’s two best Milers, England’s Roger Bannister, the first man to run a sub-4 minute Mile, and...

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‘Race of the century’ between Landy & Bannister still a miracle 60 years later

July 27, 2014

“I was going to run from the front, I was going to break the 4 minute Mile, and I was going to break my world record." - John Landy

By Kym Morgan, The Advertiser

The 1954 British Empire Games Mile race between Australia’s John Landy and England’s Roger Bannister in Vancouver, Canada, was so...

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My favorite photograph: Runner and neurosurgeon Sir Roger Bannister

July 15, 2014

Sir Roger Bannister, 85, amazed the world when he broke the four-minute Mile. But could he stand the pace at his son’s sports day?

By Roz Lewis, The Daily and Sunday Express

"This is a picture of me running in the fathers’ race at my sons’ school sports day in 1965. I hadn’t known about this...

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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...

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Beating John Landy stands above record: Roger Bannister

May 06, 2014

“Vancouver was the pinnacle of my athletics career. It is very difficult to break records during Olympic competition, but winning races was better than holding world records.”

By AFP for The Australian

Sixty years since becoming the first man to run a Mile in under four minutes, Roger...

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The Four-Minute Man, Forever

May 06, 2014

Franz Stampfl, his coach, implored him to run in a meet between Oxford and the Amateur Athletic Association: “He said to me, ‘Although the conditions are not ideal, if you don’t take this opportunity, you might not forgive yourself for the rest of your life.’ He was right.”

By Jesse Will, The...

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Roger Bannister showed us how to combine sport and everyday living

May 05, 2014

What's astonishing about Bannister's 4 minute Mile in 1954 is that he was an amateur. He even worked on the day of the race

By John Bryant, The Guardian

Things were very different 60 years ago when Roger Bannister became an icon to Britain and the empire by becoming the first to break the 4...

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Bannister Marks 60th Anniversary of 4 Minute Mile

May 04, 2014

"Bannister's 3:59.4 remains part of track and field lore, a symbol of boundary-busting endurance that stands the test of time."

By Stephen Wilson, Associated Press

OXFORD, England (AP) — Sixty years later, Roger Bannister is busy reliving the four minutes that still endure as a transcendent...

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‘I gave it everything’: Sir Roger Bannister marks 60 years since his record

May 03, 2014

The Daily Telegraph, at the time, described it as “sport’s greatest goal”, something “as elusive and seemingly unattainable as Everest”.

By Harry Wallop, The Telegraph

As with so many moments in British history, it came down to the weather. On the morning of May 6, 1954, it was raining...

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Roger Bannister’s Club Is Getting Less Exclusive

May 02, 2014

Since 2010, 91 American men have run a sub-4:00 Mile.

By Kevin Helliker, Wall Street Journal, The Count

Before hanging up his running spikes last year, Patrick Todd did something that earned him life-long membership in an exclusive club: He ran a sub-4 minute Mile. "It was one of those wild...

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The 4 minute Mile is 60 years old

April 30, 2014

Roger Bannister made an indelible mark on the sport and the world on May 6, 1954

By Pat Murphy,

TORONTO, Canada – If you were around in 1954, you couldn’t escape the 4 minute Mile. The newspapers were full of it, and the coverage wasn’t confined to the sports pages. Running a...

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How running has changed since the 4-minute Mile

April 25, 2014

When I was a child in the late 1950s, my parents taught me about Bannister's Mile just as they taught me about the first climbing of Mount Everest.

By Mary Beard,

As we approach the 60th anniversary of the 4-minute Mile, historian Mary Beard reflects on what has changed in the sport...

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The 4 minute Mile, exact to the nearest inch

April 06, 2014

Our task was to measure the track’s inside lane, six inches in from the edge, to check that Sir Roger had run one Mile, no more and no less.

John Barrell letter to The Telegraph

SIR – I read Sir Roger Bannister’s article on his epic race with great interest as it brought back memories for me....

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Roger Bannister: ‘The day I broke the 4 minute Mile’

March 30, 2014

In an extract from his new book, "Twin Tracks", Bannister recounts how he prepared for his unforgettable, legendary race: "I felt at that moment that it was my chance to do one thing supremely well."

Sixty years ago, on May 6, 1954, at Iffley Road track in Oxford, Roger Bannister became the...

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Roger Bannister 4 minute Mile drama in the works

March 17, 2014

A BBC serial about the athlete and scholar's incredible, historic 1954 record run

By Ben Dowell,

Scriptwriter Andrew Davies is working on a BBC drama about Roger Bannister’s 4 minute Mile record run, can reveal.

The writer says that the drama is likely to be in...

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Sub-4 Fever

March 05, 2014

AW’s editor looks ahead excitedly to the 60th anniversary of Roger Bannister’s first sub-4 minute Mile: the Everest of athletics

By Jason Henderson, Athletics Weekly

When Roger Bannister ran 3:59.4 in Oxford on May 6, 1954, to become the first man to break the 4-minute barrier for one Mile,...

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Retirement investing: your sub-4 minute Mile

January 09, 2014

For serious retirement investors, the far better sports metaphor lies in the story of Roger Bannister, the first man sub-4 minutes in the Mile

By Mitchell Tuchman, MarketWatch

Read enough about investing and eventually you run into this entertaining hockey metaphor: "Skate to where the puck...

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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...

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Who was the Greatest Athlete of All-Time?

August 14, 2013

Shaun White's versatility, Bo Jackson's phenomenal speed, Geronimo's nimbleness, Bannister's Mile moment and more

From The Atlantic

Gay Talese, writer

Boxing is the most physically demanding of athletic disciplines. No other athletes are so confronted with the physical demands, the heart,...

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Get Off the Sofa: Time is Running Out to Locate the Roger Bannister Lurking Inside Every One of Us

May 08, 2013

On a cinder track, 59 years ago on Monday, Roger Bannister became the first person to run the sub-four-minute Mile.

By Tanya Aldred, The Telegraph

It was a squally day, not good for records, and Roger Bannister nearly did not run at the Iffley Road track. But he knew his rivals were closing...

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On This Date in History: The Four-Minute Mile

May 06, 2013

By Daily Press

On May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister became the first person to run a Mile in under four minutes.

For several years, men had been getting closer and closer to that barrier. It is not true, as some claim today, that experts in the 1950s believed it was impossible - but the idea of...

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The Thriller That Invites You to Run a Mile in Roger Bannister’s Shoes

May 01, 2013

Paul Collicut's graphic novel The Murder Mile was inspired by the split second in 1954 when John Landy looked over his left shoulder and Roger Bannister passed him on the right

By Sam Humphrey, The Guardian

Ever since our ancestors began painting on the walls of caves, running has been a...

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America’s Sub-4:00 Fraternity

April 02, 2013

The quest to "break four" still inspires the latest generation of U.S. runners

By Dave Hunter, RunBlogRun

David Hunter is on a roll. This piece on Chris Fallon of Ohio State, and the pursuit of the 4 minute Mile, is a fun read. The 4 minute Mile has become a litmus test to the growing...

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The Miracle Mile of 1954

March 11, 2013

By The Commonwealth Games Federation

To mark Commonwealth Day 2013 the CGF is very proud to present a new short film telling the story of what is arguably the greatest athletics race of all time - the Miracle Mile of 1954.

The final of the one-Mile race at the Commonwealth (then called the...

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Bring Back the Mile!

February 27, 2013

Runners find renewed appreciation for the iconic distance.

By Mackenzie Lobby, Innovation for Endurance

Not many sports have it: It's what Ryan Lamppa calls the "Roger Bannister moment." Bannister was the first person to break the 4:00-minute Mile on May 6, 1954 on Oxford's Iffley Road Track,...

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Dr. Sport: Catching Up to Bannister Was Thrill of a Lifetime

January 06, 2013

By Greg Douglas, Vancouver Sun

SCENE & HEARD: Lorne Evans was seven years old when his mom, who worked at the PNE, snuck him into Empire Stadium to watch England's Roger Bannister and Australian John Landy compete in what would become known the world over as the Miracle Mile. The date was Aug....

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Attic Salt: a look back

October 28, 2012

I didn’t matter what the seconds were. Bannister was under four minutes.

By Ed Cullen, The Advocate

Roger Bannister, who ran the first sub-4 minute Mile in history in 1954, was the hero of high school middle distance runners in the 1960s.

Reading Neal Bascomb’s book, “The Perfect Mile,” has...

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Sir Roger Bannister on Running

October 14, 2012

By Nia Mason, ITV Meridian

Sir Roger Bannister started them off, and thousands of runners set off on the Oxford Half Marathon this morning. While it was an honour for many of the runners to meet one of their sporting heroes in the flesh, Sir Roger himself, said he was honoured to still be...

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Track Where Sir Roger Bannister Trained to Be Reopened

September 26, 2012

By ITV News

LONDON, England - A new athletics track at Paddington Recreation Ground is to be opened today, the site where Roger Bannister trained to break the four-minute Mile. The project, which aims to leave a lasting legacy for the Olympic Games, is backed by double gold medalist Mo Farah.

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Ian Interviews Sir Roger Bannister

September 24, 2012

By Ian Pinnell, Radio Cherwell

On Friday 21st September 2012, Emily's Big Walk took place at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

I was sent to cover the walk, as part of my role as Programme Controller with hospital radio station - Radio Cherwell. I interviewed various people, from...

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Gold Medalist Farah Backs Restoration of Track Roger Bannister Trained on to Break Four-Minute Mile

September 14, 2012

Double Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah has given his backing to the restoration of a historic running track.

By Rob Whitson, West End Extra

WESTMINSTER, England - Paddington Recreation Ground, where legendary runner Sir Roger Bannister trained to break the 4-minute Mile, is undergoing a...

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Ostler Runs in Sir Roger’s Footsteps

August 08, 2012

I silently retire from competitive ghost-chasing. No longer in training, I hie to a quaint pub in downtown Oxford and, to the spirit of Roger Bannister and unbreakable barriers broken, hoist a pint.

By Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle

OXFORD, England -- The rain begins falling just as I...

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Mile Legend Bannister Attends Olympic 1500 Final

August 08, 2012

From Sports Illustrated via AP

LONDON - Roger Bannister will forever be remembered for four laps around the track.

So it was fitting that the first man to break the four-minute Mile 58 years ago was front and center in the Olympic Stadium on Tuesday night to watch the men's 1500 meters, known...

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Roger Bannister’s Legacy Endures Test of Time

August 07, 2012

Of all the knighted British sporting legends, Bannister is still the most revered and remembered.

By Mike Wise, The Washington Post

LONDON — The attendant from the British Olympic Committee had brought a wheelchair along for the hunching 83-year-old man. But he refused, determined to walk the...

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What Our Heroes Teach Us About Perspective

August 06, 2012

By John Baldoni, Forbes

Of the many wonderful outcomes of the 2012 London Olympics is the attention that Roger Bannister, the first man to run the sub-4 minute Mile, now in his eighties is receiving.

When I was growing up, Bannister was a hero of mine. I ran track in high school and the Mile...

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Sir Roger Bannister on the Olympics and Oxford’s Runners

July 30, 2012

By James M. Clash, The Huffington Post

Watching opening ceremonies for the London Olympics, I was delighted to see the great Sir Roger Bannister present. Bannister was an Olympian in 1952, but he didn't win the gold you might expect from the first man to run a 4 minute Mile. In fact, he's...

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Gold Eluded Bannister, but Track Immortality Did Not

July 27, 2012

By John F. Burns, New York Times

OXFORD, England — When Sir Roger Bannister is asked whether he knew he was about to run into history as he lined up on a rain-dampened, blustery English running track 58 years ago for his bid to break the four-minute Mile barrier, he smiles, shakes his head, and...

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London 2012: Sir Roger Bannister hot favorite to light Olympic flame

July 26, 2012

William Hill stop taking bets on 83-year-old's appointment; Bannister became first man to ran sub-4 minute Mile

By Sam Jones, The Guardian

William Hill has stopped taking bets on Sir Roger Bannister lighting the Olympic cauldron after receiving a flurry of big bets backing the man who ran the...

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Sir Roger Bannister missed out in Helsinki

July 18, 2012

Bikash Mohapatra digs out some of the biggest names in sport who failed to leave a mark on the Olympics.


The Olympics is a great leveler.

While on the one hand we witness athletes rising from relative anonymity to create history, on the other there are eminent athletes who...

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Roger Bannister carries Olympic torch on track where he broke 4-minute Mile

July 10, 2012

By Associated Press

OXFORD, England — Roger Bannister returned to the track where he broke the 4-minute barrier for the Mile 58 years ago, walking slowly but smiling broadly as he carried the Olympic torch across the finish line Tuesday just 17 days before the start of the London Games.


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Last Amateur Bannister Is No LeBron Chasing Olympic Ideal

July 09, 2012

By Oliver Staley, Bloomberg Business Week

Britain was still reeling from World War II in the early 1950s. Then came the coronation of a new queen, the conquest of Mt. Everest and, in May 1954, the breaking of the four-minute Mile by Roger Bannister.

Bannister and his epic run helped rally the...

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Sir Roger Bannister Considered Retirement Before 4 Minute Mile

July 04, 2012

Sir Roger Bannister has revealed how his fourth place at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics changed sporting history.

By The British Broadcasting Corporation

He planned to retire if he won gold at the Games - and would not have gone on to run the first sub-4 minute Mile.

The 83-year-old told BBC...

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The very modest hero who raced into history on pilchard power

June 12, 2012

As he prepares to carry the Olympic Torch, an enchanting interview with 4-minute Mile legend Roger Bannister

By Jane Fryer, Daily Mail

OXFORD - Sir Roger Bannister is sitting straight-backed and immaculate in his favourite 'very hard' chair.

He’s chatting about Olympic gold medals, the...

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Roger Bannister to carry the Olympic torch at the Oxford track where he made history

June 04, 2012

Sir Roger Bannister will carry the Olympic torch on the track where he became the first man to run the Mile in less than four minutes

By Tim Walker, The Telegraph

OXFORD - Although Sir Roger Bannister would have been a popular choice to light the Olympic flame at the opening ceremony, the...

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Daughter of Roger Bannister photographer recreates iconic image

May 16, 2012

The daughter of a photographer who captured Roger Bannister's four-minute Mile has recreated his iconic image.

By BBC News

OXFORD - Jenny Priscott, from Didcot, copied her father Ivan Sansom's picture when a theatre show retold the record-breaking event at Iffley Road Track, Oxford.


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Roger’s four minutes to immortality

May 08, 2012

“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. I knew enough medicine and physiology to know it wasn’t a physical barrier, but I think it had become a psychological barrier."

By Stephen Wilson, Irish Examiner

OXFORD - Roger...

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Actors walk in Sir Roger Bannister’s footsteps to explore the power of the four-minute Mile

May 06, 2012

By Paul Kelso, The Telegraph

OXFORD - This weekend sees the anniversary of perhaps the most famous landmark in sport. On Sunday it will be 58 years to the day since Sir Roger Bannister ran the first sub-four-minute Mile, a feat that still resonates around the sporting world.

To mark the...

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IOC Drops 1500 for Mile as Marquee Track Event

April 01, 2012

Special emergency meeting approves Mile for 2012 London Olympic track & field schedule

LAUSANNE, Switzerland – (April 1, 2012) – In an unprecedented emergency meeting and vote, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has dropped the 1500 meters for the Mile as an Olympic track event effective...

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Roger Bannister Remembers His Mile Milestone

March 01, 2012

By Stephen Wilson, Associated Press

OXFORD, England – Roger Bannister remembers those fabled four minutes as if they were yesterday, still as vivid in his mind today as that blustery late afternoon more than half a century ago.

Like a proud patriarch regaling his wide-eyed grandchildren, the...

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Memories of Roger Bannister’s record

February 25, 2012

By Rhianne Pope, Oxford Mail

When Roger Bannister stepped out on to an Oxford running track nearly 60 years ago, he was about to make sporting history.

And now a project at the Oxford Playhouse is looking to hear from the 3,000 people who were there to witness the first sub-four-minute mile.

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Group seeks higher profile for the Mile

February 15, 2012

"Here's a mark that transcends sports. It's something that's so embedded in our culture and other cultures that it's often referenced outside the sport."

By Eddie Pells, AP National Writer

It's the race that cemented Roger Bannister's name into history and the distance that everyday runners...

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An Open Love Letter to the Mile

February 14, 2012

Dear Mile:

You were our First Love from the first time that we set eyes on your classic beauty & rich history; it's been a wonderful 140-plus years together. From the time Edward Merritt (USA) ran 4:43.8 in 1877 to Great Britian's Sir Roger Bannister's ground breaking, and now iconic, first...

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The Time a Land Forgot

May 01, 2004

Was Roger Bannister the first man to run a Mile in under 4 minutes or was he just the first amateur?, asks one of Britain's top sports historians

By Peter Radford, The Observer

There were no celebrations on May 9, 1970 to mark the 200th anniversary of the first 4 minute Mile, and no tours...

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An Exclusive Club

June 27, 1994

Forty years after Roger Bannister broke four minutes, the brotherhood of Mile record holders gathered to honor their grand obsession

By Gary Smith, Sports Illustrated

Never join someone who eclipses you. Align yourself with one who increases your luster. The man who puts you in the shade...

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My First Sub-4

June 17, 1978

There was a lengthy pause as the three timekeepers compared their watches in order to come up with the official time, and then there was the announcement, “It has happened again!”

By Craig Masback

The quest for my first sub-4 minute Mile began on the streets of Rome and finished on Oxford’s...

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4 Minutes and 20 Years

July 15, 1974

In 1954, gasping with effort on Oxford's Iffley Road track, Roger Bannister ran the first 4 minute Mile. Now a prominent neurologist and chairman of the British Sports Council, his celebrity is undimmed, although critics say his idealist's view of athletics is anachronistic.

By Kenny Moore,...

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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...

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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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