Sir Roger Bannister, the first man to take us under the four-minute mile, passed away this weekend. He is most remembered for his then world record mark of 3:59.4 in the mile set on May 6, 1954; thereby shattering a barrier once thought to be beyond the limits of human physiology.
It's all the more impressive when we consider the 3:59.4 mile in its context of cinder tracks, leather shoes, and limited research on exercise science. Interestingly, Bannister broke this record on a 28-mile per week training plan. To put that into perspective, it's about the same mileage as the IXC JV team.
The record only stood for six weeks before it was broken by Australian John Landy with a new world record of 3:57.9 This set the stage for an epic battle between the two runners two months later in Vancouver, British Columbia, in a race now known as "The Miracle Mile"
Sir Roger Bannister retired from running at the young age of 25 to pursue a career in medicine. As much as he is revered for progressing the sport of running, Bannister contributed even more to the world as a physician and a researcher in the field of nervous diseases.
Sir Roger Bannister was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2011.
The mile world record currently stands at 3:43.13, set by Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco in 1999. It is one of the longest standing records in Track & Field today.