First sub four-minute mile runner passes away

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by JamesMike, Mar 4, 2018.

  1. JamesMike macrumors demi-god

    JamesMike

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    #1
    As an avid runner most of my life Roger Bannister was one of people I respect for his breaking the four minute mile. RIP!
     
  2. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

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    #2
    Most of what I know about him comes from The Chariots of fire film.
     
  3. Scepticalscribe, Mar 4, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2018

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #3
    I came here about to start a thread on this to find you had beaten me to it.

    Roger Bannister was one of those gifted athletes who was also a most impressive human being. (At the time he actually broke the four minute barrier for running the mile, he was a medical student, and later became a highly respected surgeon).

    Still, this was a astounding achievement - and his pace-makers that day, Chris Brasher and Chris Chataway - were also gifted athletes who were impressive human beings, the kind who inspire respect.
     
  4. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

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    #4
    I spent time with him back in the late 1970s -- a few hours over a couple of days. We talked about many things -- he was interested in far more than athletics.

    From the comments I'm seeing around the net today, few people understand that there were several athletes very seriously chasing sub-4 at the time.

    I recommend this book: https://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Mile-Athletes-Minutes-Achieve/dp/0618562095/

    The young Wes Santee's story, for example, is particularly interesting.

    None of this takes away from the great respect due Sir Roger.
     
  5. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

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    #5
    Not to be a pedant (much) but Bannister wasn't even born at that time (1924). Neither of the two runners featured in the film was Bannister.

    But perhaps I'm misunderstanding what you mean.
     
  6. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #6
    Um, yes.

    Chariots of Fire was set in the period after the First World War, and the runners depicted competed in the Paris Olympics of 1924.

    Roger Bannister broke the four minute mile in 1954.

    Indeed.
     
  7. dukebound85 macrumors P6

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  8. StarShot macrumors 6502a

    StarShot

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    #8
    Four minute mile by itself doesn't mean too much. However, when you think a 4 minute mile is a 15 MPH pace, it's bookin'! 15MPH on my bike on level ground is moving and for at least one mile, I couldn't have left Bannister in my dust.
     
  9. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

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    Apologies it's been a while since I watched it. I was clearly remembering wrong!
     
  10. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #10
    Well, here is an interesting footnote that does link the athletes who competed in the Paris Olympics in 1924, and Roger Bannister's successful attempt to run a sub-four minute mile in 1954: Roger Bannister's attempt at beating the four minute mile was covered on television (which was just beginning to become popular - not live, a recording was made and broadcast later that day) and also on radio.

    The event was broadcast by BBC radio and commented on by Harold Abrahams - one of the two characters depicted in Chariots of Fire (which, by the way, is a great movie, with a terrific soundtrack; I met David Puttnam at a function in the north east nearly twenty years ago and he discussed the making of Chariots of Fire).

    Respect, @monokakata - respect. That memory is something to treasure.
     
  11. jaduff46 macrumors 6502

    jaduff46

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    #11
    Was one of my inspirations when I began running in the late 50s.

    Have known his son Thurstan since the mid-80s through work at JP Morgan. Also a wonderful human being.
     
  12. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

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    #12
    I've fixed the title
     
  13. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #13
    Actually, and normally I am eagle eyed about such things, I never even spotted it, I was so focussed on the actual topic of the thread, the death of Roger Bannister and his achievements in life.
     
  14. BeefCake 15 macrumors 65816

    BeefCake 15

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    There is reference that Usain Bolt topped at ~27MPH for the 100m event, Bannister did half that speed for a whole mile (16x the distance)!
     
  15. 960design macrumors 68020

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    #15
    4 minute mile means something to me. A goal I've always run for, but never quite made it.
     
  16. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    And remember that on the day of the actual event, Bannister had worked in a hospital in London that morning, - he was a medical student at the time - sharpened the spikes on his shoes on a piece of equipment at the hospital - then took a train to Oxford, walked from the station to meet a friend, had a sandwich, and then proceeded to the venue where (after some delay, the winds were strong, and Banister didn't think that he would be able to make the challenge) he had his date with destiny and secured his place in history.

    And he himself always thought that his work as a surgeon of far greater importance than his running record, much though he had enjoyed the challenges of the latter.
     
  17. BornAgainMac macrumors 603

    BornAgainMac

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    #17
    I really loved mile races. It offered both high performance running combined with some level of strategy and planning that you get with longer distance races. I am curious what the half mile split would be for someone doing a sub 4 minute mile. Was the first half a few seconds within the second half the run?
     
  18. 960design macrumors 68020

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    #18
    They typically run 'negatives'. ( I'm not a sub 4 minute miler ).
    So for me it would be something like:

    70sec
    69sec
    880 split = 2:19​
    68sec
    65sec
    880 split = 2:13
    mile = 4:32​
     
  19. Scepticalscribe, Mar 8, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #19
    Roger Bannister's sub four minute mile run had him under a minute for the first two quarters, and marginally over a minute for the third, which meant he knew he had to produce some sort of 'kick' in the fourth quarter or fail to make the record.

    Now, he was known for his ability to be able to produce a 'kick' on the final lap or leg of a race, and his pace-makers were also excellent that day.
     
  20. JamesMike thread starter macrumors demi-god

    JamesMike

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    #20
    A runner I ran against back in the day had probably one of the best long distance kicks of all time, Prefontaine, he would just terrorize you with it.
     
  21. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #21
    It is like feeling the power of a spare engine or a sort of turbo boost; as a child - just before puberty, at around the age of 11-12, I was a pretty decent middle distance runner and - to everyone's astonishment, not least my own - I seemed to possess a surprisingly good 'kick'.
     

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