‘The more restricted our society and work become; the more necessary it will be to find some outlet for this craving for freedom. No one can say, “You must not run faster than this, or jump higher than that.” The human spirit is indomitable.’ Roger Bannister
66 years ago today, on a cold, wet and windy day, in a Britain still recovering from the devastation of 2 World Wars; a 25 year old medical student in Oxford achieved the seemingly impossible. On the 6th of May 1954 Roger Bannister ran a sub 4 minute mile.
His run became a symbol of human achievement that echoed far beyond the world of athletics. Runners the world over had been trying seriously to break this barrier since the late 1800s, but over 50 years later, the fabled four minute mile still seemed out of reach. Bannister’s achievement, described by Athletics Weekly as ‘ the Everest of Athletics’, had not taken place in perfect weather, nor on a perfect surface, but by a team of runners, working tirelessly together to achieve the unattainable. The efforts, and self sacrifice, of Chris Brasher and Christopher Chataway, who paced Bannister to victory, were vital to the record attempt. A new era of athletics was born.
Bannister went on to have a long and successful career in the field of medicine; one which he himself treasured more than any of his athletic achievements. However, his groundbreaking run still stands as a benchmark and symbol of hope for many runners today.
So, this bank holiday weekend, why not use your time outside to push for your own 1 mile PB? We’ve set up a Strava running club, be sure to post your mile PB attempt in there and we’ll give you kudos for your efforts. Click here to join our club https://www.strava.com/clubs/sportstoursrunning
Alternatively, let us know what your favourite/ most inspiring moment in sport so far is in the comments below.
Please be sure to stick to your local social distancing/ lockdown guidelines when undertaking outdoors activity.