Special “Bannister” Screening Set for New Balance Falmouth Road Race Expo
Q&A to feature athlete who ran in historic first sub-4 minute Mile race and American record holder Alan Webb
FALMOUTH, Mass. — To mark the return of the elite Mile to Falmouth after a one-year hiatus, “Bannister: Everest on the Track", will be screened at the New Balance Falmouth Road Race’s Health & Fitness Expo, followed by a panel discussion featuring Tom Ratcliffe, the documentary film’s producer and director; George Dole, who ran in the historic race that Roger Bannister became the first man to break the 4-minute Mile; and 2004 Olympian Alan Webb, the American record holder at the storied distance.
The documentary will be shown at 3:30pm on Saturday, August 20, in the Falmouth High School auditorium, with the Q&A immediately afterward. Following the Q&A’s conclusion, the Tommy Cochary High School Mile and Aetna Falmouth Mile will take place on the James Kalperis Track right outside, beginning at about 5:30pm.
Named by IndieWire as one of the 13 best sports documentaries ever, “Bannister” celebrates the 1954 race as one of the most enduring achievements in history, along with the conquest of Mount Everest just a year earlier. In addition to Bannister, Dole and other runners from the famous Iffley Road sub-4 race, the film features interviews with David Epstein, author of “The Sports Gene,” and two-time Olympic gold medalist and former Mile world record holder Sebastian Coe.
“The thrill of breaking 4 minutes for the first time was an unforgettable moment,” said Webb. “I felt I had joined a brotherhood that began with Sir Roger Bannister. ‘Everest on the Track’ shows us how important breaking the 4-minute barrier was. It’s a great film.”
Webb, 33, went sub-4 for the first time on January 20, 2001, at the indoor New Balance Games in New York City. Later that year, he broke Jim Ryun’s 36-year-old high school record when he ran 3:53.43 at the Prefontaine Classic, and in 2007, he broke Steve Scott’s 25-year-old U.S. record with a 3:46.91 clocking, which still makes him the 8th-fastest Miler in history. In honor of that record, Webb will wear bib number 346 the day after his panel appearance, when he plans to run the New Balance Falmouth Road Race with the masses.
Born in 1931 in Fryeburg, Maine, Dole started running as a high school senior in Bath before competing for Yale University as a walk-on. He won the 1954 Inter-Varsity Mile between Oxford and Cambridge in England while studying at Oxford, and on May 6, 1954, he was one of six competitors in Bannister’s ground-breaking race. He retired in 2014 from a career in teaching and the ministry, and lives in Bath. This Saturday, the 85-year-old plans to run in the Dole 3-Miler in Fryeburg.
Before producing and directing “Bannister: Everest on the Track,” Ratcliffe founded Kimbia Athletics in Concord, MA in 2005, whose clients currently include, among others, 2016 U.S. Olympians Evan Jager, Shalane Flanagan, Amy Cragg and Emily Infeld. He was lead producer for Sky TV’s 2012 series “The British Miler;” is producing “Lomong,” the story of Lopez Lomong, the Sudanese Lost Boy selected to carry the American flag in the Opening Ceremony at the 2008 Olympic Games; and was a 2:14 marathoner.
For more information on the 44th running of the New Balance Falmouth Road Race, the Aetna Falmouth Elite Mile and other Race Week activities, visit www.falmouthroadrace.com; the event’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/falmouthroadrace; its Twitter feed www.twitter.com/falmouthrr and its Instagram www.instagram.com/falmouthroadrace.