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Posts Tagged ‘Roger Bannister’

It has taken 65 years for a human being to make history in sport after Roger Bannister.  I can tell people that no human is limited.  I expect more people all over the world to run under two hours after today.
  —  Eliud Kipchoge
Eliud Kipchoge (the 34-year-old Olympic champion from Kenya) ran a marathon in 1 hour, 59 minutes, 40.2 seconds, becoming the first person in history to break two hours for 26.2 miles in a special running / marathon event in Vienna (at Vienna’s Prater-Hauptallee (main avenue)) on Saturday (12 October 2019) morning.
Roger Bannister – mentioned in the quote – was the (British) runner who became the first man to break the 4 minutes for a mile record in 1954 (May 6, 1954, in 3:59.4).  Multiple individuals were close to the record before Bannister broke it and over a thousand runners have since broken 4 minutes in the 60+ years since.  Bannister’s “world record” lasted barely six weeks before it was broken and two months after the initial sub-4, two runners in the same race (Bannister was one of them), broke sub-4.  A sub-4 minute mile is now considered “routine” for world-class middle-distance runners.
Kipchoge’s run does not qualify for the world record nor will it be “officially” recognized because it was not an “open” competition and because Kipchoge was preceded by a pace car (which provided a laser path guide).  In my humble opinion, neither of these factors are significant and we have witnessed one of the greatest feats in human athleticism.
The quote was taken from the web and is available from many sources.  This image was “snipped” off the news video at: https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/more-sports/eliud-kipchoge-runs-1-59-marathon-first-to-break-2-hours/ar-AAIFQjT?ocid=spartandhp.  I make no claim to ownership or rights to the quote, image or video.
I AM simply astounded at the achievement.  It staggered me to wake up and read about (and watch) history in the making!  I had been hoping for it (the record) to happen, but never “really” expected to see it in my own lifetime.  As expected, it could “only” happen under ideal conditions: cool temperatures, flat course, little or no wind and only at (or near) sea level.  The course had an elevation difference of less than eight(8) feet over it’s lap distance and (I gather) the location for the course was between 500 – 600 feet in elevation.
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Back on 20 Feb 2010, I finished reading “The Four-Minute Mile” by Roger Bannister, copywrite 2004 (originally 1955).  This is considered one of the top five greatest books ever written about running.  I would have to say, I also felt it was excellent!
 

It’s the autobiography of the first man to break the four minute mile.  Bannister is very flowery in his writing style (typical old-style British), but he also captures his sheer joy in and love of running.  It’s a very fast read because you get caught up in the emotion of the effort.  I found it interesting that the climax of the book is not his breaking the four-minute barrier, but his winning the one on one competition with his main rival of the time.
 

I worked overtime yesterday and got home to a very pleasant surprise – Rebecca was up from UCLA to do some politics in Sacramento.  She stopped by on the way home to spend the night with us.  We had a couple of very pleasant talks and then she left to go back to college a little after noon.
 

 

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