Roger Bannister became the first person to run a four-minute mile on May 6, 1954. Bannister was a medical student and prepared for the race by studying the mechanics of running and developing new training regimens. He completed the now-famous mile in 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds at the Iffley Road track in Oxford for the annual match between the Amateur Athletic Association and Oxford University, Bannister’s alma mater.
Before Bannister’s May 6 run, the four-minute mile was considered an impossible feat. The world record for a mile at the time was 4 minutes and 1.3 seconds, and had been set in 1945, nearly ten years before. Completing a four-minute mile became a goal for many runners in the early 1950s. Bannister did not hold the record for long, and retired for athletics at the end of 1954. He published a book about his accomplishment in 1955, became a neurologist, and was knighted in 1975 by Queen Elizabeth II.
May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. Use Roger Bannister as inspiration or look for more modern motivation by following the #LetsMove and #MoveInMay hashtags on social media.