Tuesday, May 06, 2008

On this day

in 1954, Roger Bannister, a 25 year old British medical student, became the first man to run a mile in less than four minute (at the Iffley Road Sports Ground, Oxford). His time was 3 minute 59.4 seconds.

Without wanting to take away anything from this feat you do have to wonder about the accuracy of the clock and the track measurements; it is a very precise time and wouldn't have taken much for the clock to be out or the distance to be in error.

As of September last year according to Wiki answers the current outdoor Men's record is held by Hicham El Guerrouj (MOR) in 3:26.00, 7/14/1998 in Rome, Italy. It would be interesting to now how much of that improved time is down to technology - tracks are very springy and Bannister ran on cinders - and how much down to improvements in understanding physiology.

Still amazing feats though as I don't think that even in my youth I could run the 100m at the pace thy run 1500.

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