Sport: Flying Miler

The four-minute mile is an elusive phantom that middle-distance runners have been closely pursuing since Paavo Nurmi set his mark of 4:10.4 in 1923. Some track coaches insist that it is a physical impossibility; others, pointing to the 1945 world record of 4:01.4 set by Sweden's Gunder Haegg, say it will be done eventually. Last week at the Penn Relays, some 40,000 roaring fans at Franklin Field caught a fleeting glimpse of a runner who may be the first to make it a reality. The man: Britain's 22-year-old Roger Bannister, a skinny (6 ft. 2 in., 154 Ibs.) Oxford.University student who...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!