Roger Bannister crosses the line to record the first sub 4 minute mile

Run Your Mile: 60 years since the 4 minute mile

You don’t have to be a runner to have heard about Roger Bannister and how he became the first man to run a mile in less than 4 minutes.  In a little over a week’s time it will be the 60th anniversary of this feat and after reading a BBC article this morning I was inspired to pay tribute to this landmark.

Given that I live just over a half-marathon away from the Iffley Road track where the record breaking took place and that I am now completely mad about all things running, I am slightly ashamed to say that until this morning I hadn’t realised that the anniversary was coming up but it got me thinking – could I pay a tribute to it by running a mile?

Well, I’m out of the UK on holiday (with my running gear obvs) so I thought why not have a virtual tribute.  So I’m looking for 59 other  runners to join me at some point on Tuesday 6th May, wherever they may be, to run a mile as fast as they can and share their story with me.

I thought it’d be great to gather 60 snippets to not only celebrate the milestone of the sub 4 minute mile but also to celebrate the varied community that running has become.

All you need to do is contact me via Twitter (@running_dan_w), or comment on this blog post, with some basic information:

  • Name and/or Twitter handle
  • How long you’ve been running
  • Up to 3 words that describe why you run
  • Where you intend to run your mile
  • Your target time

Then after you complete your mile, get back in touch to let me know how you got on with you time and ideally (but it’s not compulsory) a before, after or during photo.

I’ve already got two willing volunteers in the form of Rachel (aka @fairweatherrun) and Amy (aka @amerbob).  Now just to find 57 more.

If you want to get involved please use the hashtags #runyourmile and #4minmiletribute to help me compile the story of 60 miles.

Here’s my mile snippet:

  • Dan @running_dan_w
  • Running seriously for 5 years
  • Charity, Challenge, Fun
  • Puerto Pollensa, Mallorca
  • I’d be chuffed with anything under 7 minutes but would like to go under 6:30

Find out how everyone got on in this post here.


58 thoughts on “Run Your Mile: 60 years since the 4 minute mile”

  1. @nisha_sodha
    Started running a year and a half ago
    Freedom, challenge, fun
    Somewhere in Warwickshire
    Never tried a flat out mile before so just going to aim for under 8

  2. Rachel @fairweatherrun
    Running for 8 or 9 years
    Run because I like food and wine too much and it makes me feel good (afterwards!)
    Probably in Hyde Park
    I did a mile in 6.59 last Aug, would be nice to run similar time but will be harder on my own without faster runners to chase.

  3. @Shellsbellsaa
    Running for 3 years ish
    Fitness, challenge, charity
    Along the thames path before work
    I haven’t ran a straight mile before either so anything under 9 would make me happy 🙂

  4. Great idea – I shall encourage my friends to participate!
    I’ve run off and on, mostly on, since I was 11 (lots of years)
    Fitness, competition, self-discovery (it’s hyphenated so counts as 1 word, right?)
    Norman Green Athletics Stadium (stadium being a stretch!)
    Somewhere under 5 minutes

  5. Great ideas, Dan!
    Katie @cakeofgoodhope
    Lifelong runner (not always voluntarily)
    Challenge, enjoyment, cake
    Iffley Road Track!

  6. Emma @chiltondiva
    Half heartedky on and off for years but more ‘seriously’ in past 2 years
    Keeps me sane
    The streets of Wantage

  7. Helen @Helsieboo
    About 4 years
    Clears my mind
    Sidcup/New Eltham
    I have been under 8 a handful of times, but I am recovering from pregnancy, so it will be a slow plod at about 12m, I reckon!

  8. Laraine @LaraineWynJones
    Been running about 3 years – but not seriously. I don’t do much seriously, but it’s always fun!
    To eat chocolate (and not feel guilty)
    Shifnal, Shropshire
    Under 7.30 would be incredible, but possibly over ambitious. I’d be happy with sub 8!

  9. @miss_smeats
    Been running for 4 or 5years regularly
    Fitness, to de-stress and clear my mind, to allow me to eat what I want
    Along the Thames path
    Like to aim for under 7

  10. Adele @adeleprince
    Ooh, about ten years on and off
    To feel good, to keep on top of things, to achieve goals
    Ladywell Arena
    No idea! About 7 minutes would be great.

  11. * Annabeth @glittermousie
    * I’ve been running seriously for about 12 months.
    * I run for sanity, joy, to find my boundaries and because I can’t imagine not doing it any more!
    * Manchester.
    * I’ll probably really regret this but I may as well make it a challenge and aim for 6.

  12. Roger Bannister – Im an Assistant Chief Constable with Leicestershire Police and will be making a charity donation for a suitable cause to also celebrate the anniversary.
    I’m on Twitter @AccCleicspolice
    Ive been running for around 13 years on and off
    Challenging, health and fun
    Running in my lunch break at Leics Police HQ as on duty that day
    Probably a very disrespectful (to Sir RB my namesake) round 9 mins but less if poss – a first for me!

  13. @alley_cat_
    Running for 6months
    To beat stress
    Somewhere in Sheffield
    Will Aim for under 8 mins
    Whoop! 🙂

  14. Ben @Honour_7
    Running off and on for 10 years
    Challenge & fitness
    6 mins 30 would be good!

  15. Hi Dan – here our snippets…..
    Claire Kent, @IffleyRd
    Running for 25 years
    To keep myself sane!
    Probably the Barn Elms track, West London
    Have never raced a mile and am not fit, so probably 7:30
    Bill Byrne, @IffleyRd
    Running seriously for 30 plus years
    Trails, Friendship, Racing
    Probably the Barn Elms track, West London
    So long since I’ve done a mile – 6:15 would be great!

  16. Kate @KateSutton42
    Running for 1 month
    Training, Fitness, Self
    Windrush valley
    Can do 3k in 20mins so would be very pleased to do a mile under 10mins.

  17. Prad @praddles
    Running for 4 years
    ‘Cos I can’
    On a treadmill (God, I’m boring)
    Recovering from an injury, so anything under 8 minutes would be an achievement!

  18. Rene @runrenerun
    7 yrs (time flies)
    Health, Nature, Obsession
    Kezar Stadium
    Target time: under 7

  19. Hello!
    My beginners’ running group starts next Tuesday, so we will run/walk a mile together.

    Twitter: @runonairSLCR
    I’ve been running for nearly two years, but 6th May will be our first group session, so some have never run.
    Three words: It helps me.
    Where: Cross Flatts park, south Leeds.
    Time: However long it takes!

  20. Stuart Cameron / @sacameron
    Off and on for a while but more obsessive & compulsive for a year
    To stay foolish
    Streets of NYC
    6:30 if I can avoid people, taxi cabs, and red lights.

  21. Damian Clapham / @damianclapham
    my whole life……
    escapism, competition, health, to encourage others to run
    Worden Park, Leyland
    will try sub 6min 30secs for first time in years!!!

  22. Sarah @runnersog
    3 years and a bit
    Fitness, weight loss
    Stotfold, Bedfordshire
    Will be the day after MK Marathon so a slow recovery mile around 10 minutes I hope!

  23. James / @GR33NIE
    Running seriously for 2yrs
    Fitness, now addicted!
    Faringdon, Oxfordshire
    Anything under 7mins 🙂

  24. Cathy @jogblog
    8 years on and off
    Lardiness prevention strategy
    Anything under 20 minutes will do (I should confess I’m not injured, just lazy and slow)

  25. Jay @borntoplodblog

    Running for about 3 years (and not at all before that)

    Because I Can. (I was SO tempted to put “Outrun The Zombies”)

    Northants, England

    I managed 6:30 on a treadmill in December, so anything under that would be ace.

  26. I already replied via Twitter, but thought I’d officially sign up here as well.
    Rob (@rnlewisjr on Twitter)
    Running for about 5 years
    Why? I was fat
    I will run around the mile long block near my home in Soldotna, Alaska, USA.
    Trying to get around 8 minutes, but more likely 9 or so.
    And I’m about to go advertise this to a bunch if Idiots. So, that should fill out your 60.

  27. Alec W
    My father ran to a high standard (quarter miles) in the Bannister era, so I will take part in his memory and to mark Sir Roger’s achievement. I will aim for 6.30ish. I will donate to the heart foundation.

    1. Thanks for joining in Alec. If you don’t mind it would be great to know where you intend to run your mile and how many months/years you’ve run for.

  28. Cal @CalFerguson

    Running as a side hobby to football for around 1 year now

    Challenge & fitness

    Darwen, Lancashire

    Under 7 minutes for definite, latest interval was 6:47 so anything below that and I’ll be a happy man 🙂

  29. Kim @winerunrun
    Running for 3 years
    Health, kids & challenge
    The streets of Kalispell, Montana
    Sub 8, if I can.

  30. Hey Dan, great idea and count me in!

    • Mancetti Garnish
    • About 2 years
    • 3 words: Running means Beer!
    • Iffley Road – actually gonna run from my house to Iffley Road Track in honour of the anniversary, so about 4.3 miles in total. I’ll try and run the second mile as the fastest, which is down the Iffley Road.
    • Anything under 7 minutes will do me nicely!

  31. Started running 6 years ago.
    Fun challenge motivation
    Interesting ….think I can do 8 lol double the time it took roger x

  32. @instantpash
    Running irregularly for a year and a half,
    Reflection, personal time, relax
    Tamana, Kyushu, Japan
    Happy with 9 today…

  33. Donna @donna_de
    Running for: 5 years
    Why I run: Because I Can.
    I will run either at my local fields or the gym
    I have no target time: I have severe knee degeneration so will just be happy to be able to do another mile, no matter the speed!

  34. Ryan @rwhillrunner
    Running for: 24 years
    Why I run: I’m a runner.
    Somewhere in the Sussex, WI vicinity
    No target time, prepping for a race and nursing a muscle strain.

  35. Michelle @ScribblerNE
    I’ve been running for about 5 1/2 years now. couldn’t manage a mile when I started and now do triathlons and half marathons.
    I run for fitness, freedom and fellowship with the biggest hearted, most wonderful community.
    I ran early this morning, adding a mile onto a tough interval session. I hit the beach at Tynemouth Longsands with the Chariots of Fire soundtrack playing in my head and just ran for joy and freedom for a glorious 8min 43 seconds. I like to get value from my miles!

  36. Mike @mikew30
    Running for 2.5 years
    Fun, Friends and Fun!
    I ran 2 fast miles yesterday for #runyourmile. The first was during a 10km runch session with my work friends. I paced a colleague to one of his fastest miles, ever. (6:19) along the riverbank in Nottingham:

    Then in the evening, I ran with my club in Caistor, Lincs, and chased one of the fast lads down a big hill, clocking my fastest 400m, 800m, 1km and mile, ever! :).

    I know it’s cheating, but still chuffed with a *5:17* downhill mile

    My previous best (on the flat) was 5:42 – looking forward to seeing if I can beat that without the help of gravity some time soon!

    Thanks for the inspiration, Dan!

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