To mark the anniversary of his extraordinary achievement in May 1954, Sir Roger Bannister relives it all in a special podcast.
The triumphant runner after breaking the four-minute mile record at Iffley Road
Announcer Norris McWhirter’s remaining words at the Iffley Road track on 6 May 1954 were drowned in the roar of the crowd. Roger Bannister had run the mile in 3 minutes 59.4 seconds.
In a special podcast to mark the anniversary of his extraordinary achievement, the man at the centre of it all gives his perspective. Sir Roger recalls how he developed as a runner while reading medicine at Exeter and Merton colleges; describes his training before the record-breaking run unfolded; and reveals how he might not have made the four-minute mile attempt that day but for the flag on a nearby church.
‘Going sub-four’ has been only one part of a long life of many achievements. Sir Roger also talks about the medical and academic career he undertook after retiring from running, including his work on heat illness while on army service in Aden, and his pioneering work on the autonomic nervous system.
As well as inspiring generations of runners, Sir Roger has also had a wider impact upon sport. When he was chairman of the Sports Council in the 1970s he introduced the first anabolic steroid tests for athletes. He was Master of Pembroke from 1985 to 1993 and in January he was made a Companion of Honourfor services to sport.
Listen to Sir Roger Bannister’s podcast here
Portrait of Sir Roger Bannister by Oxford University Images / John Cairns. Archive photograph courtesy of Oxfordshire History Centre.