ARA Releases Mini-Documentary: Bannister Breaks the Barrier

Tue, 19 Jan. 2010 - 8:24 a.m. MT
Credit: ARA Staff - American Running Association

American Running Association Executive Director Dave Watt and Geoff Hollister, a retired Nike pioneer and ARA Board Member, ventured to the site of the historic sub-four minute mile to film an interview with Sir Roger Bannister. His personal comments offer a unique perspective on what it was like to break the seemingly impenetrable barrier. Original BBC footage from the race is also included. The 23-minute DVD costs only $15 for ARA members, plus $6 S&H. Contact Dave Watt for ordering information. (Mention the recent Hallmark special "Chasing a Dream" and pay only $4 for S&H.)

 

Review, by Paul Kiell, MD, Originally Published in the AMAA Journal

--------

Back in the very early 1950’s I recall reading articles in sports magazines explaining why runners could never cover a mile in less than four minutes.  Scientists and sportswriters explained how it was physically impossible.  Nevertheless, in 1954 Roger Bannister rendered all such claims erroneous when he ran the mile race in less than four minutes.

 Nowadays, it is not unusual for a well-trained, championship caliber, high school athlete to record a sub-four minute mile. But Roger Bannister was there first, conquering both the physical and psychological barriers that were impeding previous runners.

 This CD recounts Bannister’s momentous effort in breaking what was called “the most sought after record.”

 It is refreshing in this day of ego-driven athletes who do choreographed, celebratory dances in the end zone of the football field for doing what they are expected to do and paid obscenely for it all, to listen to the self-effacing Bannister talk about his achievement.  Readily acknowledging the contributions of those who helped him, the modest Bannister—who was a medical student at the time—takes the viewer through some of the training and preparation for his world-record run.

 The video is relatively short, leaving you wanting to see more. This is, however, not a criticism of this excellent production, although I’d like to have seen the sequel, his beating Landy in the Empire Games that summer. It was a truly exciting race between two gentleman athletes.

 In his book  (Bannister R. The Four-Minute Mile New York: Lyons and Burford, 1994) Bannister writes about running that “It also does us good because it helps us do other things better.”

 Bannister went on to achieve prominence as a neurologist. After he had retired from track competition to concentrate on his medical studies, his record did not last for long.  Once runners learned that the formidable mental barrier had been overcome, others also ran the mile in less than four minutes.  This CD, then, is a tribute to the values of the man who got there first.

--- Paul Kiell, MD

 

 



Latest News
Luxury Cruise Fitness: It Can Be Done
Luxury Cruise Fitness: It Can Be Done

Aug 02 1:02 p.m.

Article by: Jeff Venables

Comrades Ultra - Loose and Fun = Success
Comrades Ultra - Loose and Fun = Success

Jun 04 12:26 p.m.

Article by: Rick Ganzi, M.D.

Young Milers in Anaheim CA love running
Young Milers in Anaheim CA love running

May 15 3:03 p.m.

Article by: Jeff Venables

Catch Them If You Can
Catch Them If You Can

Apr 08 7:22 p.m.

Article by: Jeff Venables

New Roles of Sports Chiropractic
New Roles of Sports Chiropractic

Feb 21 11:15 a.m.

Article by: Jeff Venables