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Running History: Video of Roger Bannister’s sub-4:00 Mile

Yesterday was the 60th anniversary of Roger Bannister’s sub-4:00 mile. In an interesting article titled “A Faster Human: Are We Unique In Our Ability To Get Better?,” NPR shared a great video of that famed run narrated by Sir Roger himself. It also included a video of Hicham El Guerrouj’s world record setting mile run from 1999. Both are well worth watching!

If you are interested in the story of the chase for the 4:00 mile, I highly recommend reading “The Perfect Mile” by Neal Bascomb. Interestingly enough, Bannister’s record breaking mile may not have even been his most exciting race – you can read about and see video of his 1954 Empire Games race against John Landy here.

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About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a biology teacher, track/soccer coach, and dad (x3) with a passion for running, soccer, and science. If you'd like to learn a little bit more about who I am and what I do, click here, or visit


  1. I recently finished this book by Neal Bascomb, and he told this story about these three friendly competitors so very well. I was surprised to read how Wes Santee, a runner from Kansas who also ran for the University of Kansas, charted a different path after his days of running ended. He was an incredible runner in this remarkable trio, though Bannister will always be the one people remember.

  2. Greg Emerson says:

    This story is part of the storied legends of running and seems like ancient history. Yet, check out this new report from Bath, Maine that features a running minister who is still running strongly in his 80’s. So, why is he connected to the Roger Bannister story? Watch it to find out!

  3. Watch El Guerrouj right after the race. You can find a more extended version on Youtube.

    He runs over to the side, grabs some flowers, smiles and takes a victory lap.

    Compared with the finish of Bannister or many others, it makes me think he might have had even a little more in the tank.

  4. Thanks for posting these videos! I love how Bannister describes feeling “so full of running.”

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