Roger Bannister becomes the first person to run the mile in under four minutes.
In the sport of athletics, a four-minute mile means completing a mile run in less than four minutes. It was first achieved in 1954 by Roger Bannister in 3:59.4. The “four-minute barrier” has since been broken by over 1,400 male athletes, and is now the standard of all male professional middle distance runners in cultures that use Imperial units. In the 64 years since, the mile record has been lowered by almost 17 seconds, and currently stands at 3:43.13. Running a mile in four minutes translates to a speed of 15 miles per hour 24.14 km/h, or 2:29.13 minutes per kilometre, or 14.91 seconds per 100 metres. It also equals 22 feet per second.
Breaking the four-minute barrier was first achieved on 6 May 1954 at Oxford University’s Iffley Road Track, by Englishman Roger Bannister, with the help of fellow-runners Chris Chataway and Chris Brasher as pacemakers.
Two months later, during the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games hosted in Vancouver, B.C., two competing runners, Australia’s John Landy and Bannister, ran the distance of one mile in under four minutes. The race’s end is memorialised in a photo, and later a statue, of the two, with Landy looking over his left shoulder, just as Bannister is passing him on the right. Landy thus lost the race. The statue was placed in front of the Pacific National Exhibition entrance plaza.