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British middle distance runner.
In 1946, Bannister went to Oxford University to study medicine. He devoted all his spare time to the track and became an accomplished middle distance runner. The fascination at the time for all middle distance men was the four-minute mile. Basically, it was widely assumed that to run the distance in under four minutes was impossible for a human being. Bannister believed it was possible, and used his knowledge as a physician to give him as much help as possible. He painstakingly researched mechanical aspects of running, and developed scientific training methods to aid him.
By the time 1954 had come around, Bannister was vying with the Australian John Landy to try and be the first to break the four-minute barrier. Both had run quite close to the time, but the magic figure still proved to be elusive.
It was at Iffley Road in Oxford on May 6th in that same year that Roger Bannister finally achieved his dream, finishing in a time of three minutes fifty-nine point four seconds. His name had not only been written into the record books, but sporting folklore as well.
The record was broken within two months by John Landy, highlighting how the four-minute mile was as much a psychological as physical barrier. Bannister went on to race Landy to decide whom the world’s best miler was - Bannister won (both men ran sub four minutes).
In his later years Bannister concentrated on medicine, and became a consultant neurologist. He continued to run to keep fit right up until 1975, when he broke his ankle in a motoring accident. He will always be remembered as the man who ran the ‘miracle mile’.
This is a very fine black and white 8" x 10" modern reproduction of an earlier photograph, showing Bannister racing between his two pacemakers, Chris Brasher and Christopher Chataway, in his famous 1954 record-breaking race.Bannister had added a good signature in black ink across the image. In very good condition.
Bannister is no longer responding to autograph requests.