54. Four minute mile

four-minute-mile-roger-bannister-iffley-road-oxford-may-1954.jpg

Today is the fiftieth anniversary of the first sub-4 minute mile. With some help from Chris Chataway and Chris Brasher, Roger Bannister circled the Oxford University track four times on his way to a world record time of 3:59.4.

I used to cycle past the Iffley Road track each day on my way to geology lectures. My girlfriend then lived in Oxford’s nearby Parker Street, the same street where Jack Lovelock, mile world record holder and 1500 m Olympic Champion in Berlin, had lived many years before.

Oxford University Athletics Club organised a celebration meeting against the UK Athletics Association at Iffley Road last night, with a commemoration mile run at 6 pm, exactly 50 years to the minute after the 1954 race. Sir Roger Bannister was there to ring the bell signalling the last lap.

It looked a great event, but unfortunately, I couldn’t get a ticket. I’m going to have to arrange my own commemoration lap later this year.

Related articles:
64. Olympic laurels – Athens 2004
40. Running with Roger Black
116. London is Olympic – The London Marathon
94. London Olympics 2012

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