Then & Now: Jul. 19, 1999

SECONDS BETTER The time it takes the fastest humans to run a mile keeps dropping. Hicham el Guerrouj set a new record last week, 45 years after Roger Bannister broke the mystical four-minute barrier. How the two speedsters compare:

Runner ROGER BANNISTER, 25, British, 154 lbs.

Record 3 min., 59.4 sec. (1954)

Diet Postwar British; ate roast pork and potatoes before the race

Training Coached himself, ran five half-hour sessions per week

Shoes Approx. 7 oz., with steel spikes

Weather Chilly; strong 15-m.p.h. winds

Surface Hard cinder track, rain-soaked

Added hurdles Bannister was taking exams in the weeks prior to...

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