Mile News

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 event until breakfast that morning, when my boys, Clive and Thurstan, told me I had to enter. I wasn’t keen, as it was an 80-yard sprint – not my speciality at all – and when I arrived, I viewed with some dismay all these fit-looking, rugby-playing fathers.

They were all making bets, too, so clearly my reputation was at stake. I braced myself for the challenge and came home in first place – but only by a whisker, as you can see.

I’d discovered at school that I could run faster than most boys. Then, when I was 16, I went up to Oxford to study medicine, and I joined the Oxford University Athletic Club. My times began to improve, and eventually I was selected for the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki.

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