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Date Posted: 15:06:23 03/04/18 Sun
Author: PeteIM
Subject: LONDON (AP) — It was a typical British afternoon in early May: wet, cool and blustery. Not exactly the ideal conditions for running four laps around a track faster than many thought humanly possible...

A lanky Oxford medical student named Roger Bannister looked up at the white-and-red English flag whipping in the wind atop a nearby church and figured he would have to call off the record attempt.

But then, shortly after 6 p.m. on May 6, 1954, the wind subsided. Bannister glanced up again and saw the flag fluttering oh-so gently. The race was on.

With two friends acting as pacemakers, Bannister churned around the cinder track four times. His long arms and legs pumping, his lungs gasping for air, he put on a furious kick over the final 300 yards and nearly collapsed as he crossed the finish line.

The announcer read out the time:


The rest was drowned out by the roar of the crowd. The 3 was all that mattered.

Bannister had just become the first runner to break the mythical 4-minute barrier in the mile — a feat of speed and endurance that stands as one of the seminal sporting achievements of the 20th century.

Roger Bannister has died at 88. Thank you Roger, for making us try harder. Rest in Peace.

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