World file holder celebrates Bannister’s sub-four mile, 70 years in the past at present

On Could 6, 1954, British medical pupil Roger Bannister made historical past by turning into the primary man in documented historical past to run a mile (1,609m) in underneath 4 minutes. Seventy years later, Bannister’s mark of three:59.4 nonetheless stands as a benchmark for a lot of.

On Monday in Oxford, U.Okay., a whole bunch of runners gathered to run a mile in his honour, starting exterior Oxford’s Christchurch School and continuing alongside the Excessive Avenue to the Iffley Monitor, the place Bannister achieved his feat in 1954. Current for the festivities was the present mile world file holder and one of many biggest distance runners in historical past, Morocco’s Hicham El Guerrouj.

El Guerrouj, now 49, didn’t break his world file time of three:43:13 (from 1999) in Oxford, however he confirmed that he nonetheless has some pace within the legs, recording a six-minute and 39-second mile. Becoming a member of El Guerrouj was British mile file holder Steve Cram and 13 different athletes who had surpassed Bannister’s file in subsequent years.

Bannister’s achievement will endlessly be remembered as some of the important arbitrary obstacles in athletics, inspiring a technology of British middle-distance athletes like Cram, Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett. Bannister’s file was set in a time when there have been no branded monitor spikes or high-cushioned tremendous footwear. Bannister wore leather-based footwear with lengthy spikes on the underside, weighing 4.5 oz. (or of an identical weight because the Nike Dragonfly spike).

As of January 2024, greater than 2,000 distance runners, together with 76 Canadians, have damaged the four-minute mile barrier.

Along with the group mile races in Oxford on Monday, which attracted greater than 1,000 runners, the Iffley Monitor hosted elite mile races for athletes who regarded to problem the four-minute mark. 4 athletes went under the mark, with Ossame Meslek of Italy recording the quickest time of three:56.15.

That is the second time Oxford’s Iffley Street has hosted an anniversary occasion for Bannister’s mile. In 2004, Bannister was readily available to witness Australia’s Craig Mottram and Eire’s Sonia O’Sullivan win elite mile races in 3:56.64 and 4:27.79, respectively.

Bannister died of pneumonia in 2018 on the age of 88.

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