Skip to comments.Sir Roger Bannister Dies at 88
Posted on 03/04/2018 5:32:29 AM PST by Lonesome in Massachussets
Sir Roger Bannister, the first person to run a mile in under four minutes, has died at the age of 88.
His time of three minutes 59.4 seconds, set at Iffley Road sports ground in Oxford on 6 May 1954, stood as a record for just 46 days but his place in athletics history was assured.
Bannister also won gold over the same distance at the 1954 Commonwealth Games and later became a leading neurologist.
He was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2011.
A statement from his family said: "Sir Roger Bannister, died peacefully in Oxford on 3 March, aged 88, surrounded by his family who were as loved by him, as he was loved by them.
"He banked his treasure in the hearts of his friends."
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.com ...
"Somebody had to do it, I preferred that it be me."
To an Athlete Dying Young
BY A. E. HOUSMAN
The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.
Today, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.
Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where glory does not stay,
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.
Eyes the shady night has shut
Cannot see the record cut,
And silence sounds no worse than cheers
After earth has stopped the ears.
Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honours out,
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man.
So set, before its echoes fade,
The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
And hold to the low lintel up
The still-defended challenge-cup.
And round that early-laurelled head
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
And find unwithered on its curls
The garland briefer than a girls.
A wonderful feat to be remembered for. I hope he has beautiful paths to run on in the next life. Kind of ironic that as a neurologist he died of the complications of Parkinson’s.
"I have seen, and looked after, patients with so many neurological and other disorders that I am not surprised I have acquired an illness," he said at the time.
"It's in the nature of things, there's a gentle irony to it."
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
All that without juicing. I couldnt run a lick back when I was kid and now in my golden years I hope to maintain walking a bit longer. But Bannister was a sports phenomenon at the same time as my Heroes Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Ted Williams (high praise from me. A rabid Yankees fan). I was very young when Bannister performed this feat but my dad made sure to tell me about it.
I can’t hear Bannister without thinking of Jim Ryan, the Kansas comet — first high schooler to break the 4:00 mile and still holds many records.
He was a year ahead of me at KU and I still remember seeing him walking through the student union when I was a freshman.
Later a Republican congressman that eventually left as too conservative to survive Washington and main street Kansas politics.
Although it doesn't really apply to Sir Roger, who did not die young nor did the name die before the man. He died a legend, as well he should.
We were competing at the Florida relays, I guess around 1970. Ryan was there, I guess competing as an independent. He was very aloof but I can’t blame him.
Too many people probably wanted to just talk to him. Same thing with Richmond Flowers at the SEC and Independents indoor meet in Montgomery, Alabama about the same time. John Hannah, a shot putter seemed more garrulous tho.
Almost poetic in how he said this. Thanks very much for posting.
But I've always admired runners. Glenn Cunningham, Steve Prefontaine, Ryun. A pair of shorts, some shoes, and a lot of heart ...
Yes, growing up in Kansas, Glenn Cunningham was mythic in what he achieved. Top miler in the world after having both legs burnt to the level of considered amputation.
The yearly KU track event, the Kansas Relays, was always garnering the best in the world. I had forgotten that it was started by John Outland until I looked up something a few minutes ago.
As i sit here cooling down from my morning run, i too am saddened by this news. He, and Kenneth Cooper, are two of my personal running influences. There are others, but these two hold special places.
Zátopek, Bannister, Prefontaine — my role models when I ran XC & track in HS. RIP Sir Roger.
As long as I was throwing out Kansas track names from ages gone bye, I should have included Wes Santee and Jim Thorpe, two legends in their own right associated with Kansas.
I forgot Zatopek.
I ran the world’s slowest half mile in high school track. My fastest time would have been a slow jog for Prefontaine.
I can't hear Roger Bannister without thinking of Jim Fixx.
...or my former bossand why I'm not a jogger.
You have company — I was mediocre, at best (XC, mile, 2-mile). Enjoyed the experience, though.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.