Sir Roger Bannister (1929 -) was the first man to run a sub-four-minute mile, which remains one of the most famous sports achievements.
He was born in 1929 and studied medicine at Oxford University before representing the United Kingdom in the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki. Roger Bannister finished fourth in the 1500m at the Olympics. But, inspired by Emil Zatopek’s intense training and three gold medals, Bannister resolved to make a deliberate effort to break the four-minute mile barrier.
Bannister was working as a doctor at the time and had little time for training in the evenings. He concentrated on short intervals, anaerobic training, and block training. (preparing for specific weeks)
Many people have long been attracted by the four-minute mile’s exquisite symmetry. Some experts even said that such a period would be impossible. Paavo Nurmi, the Flying Finn, set a time of 4.10 seconds in 1923.
Roger Bannister runs the mile in under 04 minutes. On May 6, 1953, Roger Bannister recognized an opportunity at an athletic meeting between Oxford University and the Amateur Athletics Association.
The actual day was chilly, damp, and windy, and the effort was almost canceled. However, the wind dropped down at the last second, and Bannister decided to take his risk. Two pacemakers, Chris Chataway and Chris Brasher, led him out for the opening three laps. Then Bannister made his final push towards the finish. Bannister almost collapsed across the finish line, clearly exhausted, before the timekeeper (Norris McWhirter) read out his time. McWhirter, who later worked for the Guinness Book of World Records, read out the time required to generate suspension.
“”Ladies and gentlemen, the results of event nine, the one mile, are as follows: first, number 41,, R. G. Bannister, Amateur Athletic Association and formerly of Exeter and Merton Colleges, Oxford, with a period which is a new conference and track record, and which will be a new English Native, British National, All-Comers, European, British Empire, and World Record, subject to ratification.” It was three o’clock…”
The seconds flew by as the 3,000-person throng applauded the historic occasion. Six weeks later, in Finland, Australian John Landy broke the four-minute mile mark, setting a new world record of 3 minutes 57 seconds. But who recalls the second guy to run a mile in under four minutes? Bannister held the record for the fastest one-mile run.
Bannister focused on his medical profession after breaking the mark, being humble about his historic feat. Before retiring in 1993, he was Master of Pembroke College, Oxford. He subsequently said that being the first person to break the four-minute mile was a bit of a fluke. It is still regarded as one of the greatest sporting achievements in history.
“The individual who can push themselves even harder when the attempt grows uncomfortable is the winner.”– Roger Bannister
He went on to become a well-known neurologist and Master of Pembroke College, Oxford, before retiring in 1993. Bannister was asked 50 years after the legendary four-minute mile if he considered the sub-four-minute mile was his finest achievement. He declined. He considered his work in neurology to be more important. Bannister made contributions to the study of autonomic failure.