Sixty years ago on Tuesday, Roger Bannister, a 25-year-old medical student completed what at the time* seemed to be impossible: A sub-four minute mile. You can watch video of the race below this story.
He spoke to The Guardian for the anniversary:
I heard the lap times as they went by," he says. "The first was 58. The half-mile 1.58. But the three-quarters was three minutes and one second so I knew I had to produce a last lap of under 59."
Did you worry at the end of that third lap? "Oh yes! And I was also unsure whether I should start my finish immediately or wait another 150 yards and overtake Chataway in the back straight. I decided I would stay a bit longer and then went. There was plenty of adrenaline then, I can assure you!"
The current world record, according to the IAAF, belongs to Moroccan runner Hicham El Guerrouj, who ran a mile in 3:43.13 in 1999.
*While this is not impossible for professional runners anymore, it is still mostly impossible for most runners to do. For example, if you went jogging this morning you probably ran between an 8 and 12 minute mile.
Thanks to Runner's World for bringing this to our attention.