Thursday, July 7, 2011

Roger Bannister: 1st Sub-Four Minute Mile

Living a high-performance life™ means you have to believe in yourself more than anyone else does. As you set goals and work to achieve them, there will be skeptics who will tell you that you can't, that what your are trying to do is impossible. When the skeptics appear, which they will, remember the story of Roger Bannister who was told it was impossible for a human to run a sub-four minute mile.


The Sub-Four Minute Mile Story

This historic event took place on 6 May 1954 during a meet between British AAA and Oxford University at Iffley Road Track in Oxford. It was watched by about 3,000 spectators. With winds up to 25 miles per hour (40 km/h) prior to the event, Bannister had said twice that he favoured not running, to conserve his energy and efforts to break the 4-minute barrier; he would try again at another meet. However, the winds dropped just before the race was scheduled to begin, and Bannister did run. Two other runners, Brasher and Chataway, provided pacing while completing the race. Both went on to establish their own track careers. The race was broadcast live by BBC. The stadium announcer excited the crowd by delaying the announcement of the time Bannister ran as long as possible:

"Ladies and gentlemen, here is the result of event 9, the one mile: 1st, No. 41, R.G. Bannister, Amateur Athletic Association and formerly of Exeter and Merton Colleges, Oxford, with a time which is a new meeting and track record, and which - subject to ratification - will be a new English Native, British National, All-Comers, European, British Empire and World Record. The time was 3..."

The roar of the crowd drowned out the rest of the announcement. Bannister's time was 3 min 59.4 sec. Roger said this about his run, “The earth seemed to move with me. I found a new source of power and beauty, a source I never knew existed.”

Believe, Achieve, Change the World

You have to believe, Roger said, “Doctors and scientists said that breaking the four-minute mile was impossible, that one would die in the attempt. Thus, when I got up from the track after collapsing at the finish line, I figured I was dead.”

For the first time in history Roger Bannister beat the 4 minute mile. Roger helps us remember to not lose site our our goals and dreams. Our success, if we don't give way to doubters, will be a catalyst to help others believe they too can achieve the impossible. In 1955, the next year, over 86 other runners recorded sub-four minute miles.

The next time someone tells you it's impossible, dig deep, believe, achieve, and be the catalysts the world needs to believe.

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