An Ode To Roger Bannister


“The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win.”

56 years ago on a cinder track that most high schools today would turn their nose up at, Roger Bannister was the first person to run a mile in less than four minutes.  With the use of my computer’s calculator, I was able to determine Mr. Bannister’s average speed – 15 mph.

Lets ponder that for a moment: 

          Fiften miles per hour. 

          For a mile. 

          On foot.

While cycling on smooth and level asphalt with a bike of decent quality, I can achieve 15mph with a moderate level of effort.  I can hold that pace for miles at a time.  To say I am comparing apples and oranges would be an understatement.  But as I cruise along at my 15mph clip, it is possible for me to imagine a runner loping alongside me and what it would be like to be that runner.  Having done just that on one of my rides this week, I can report to you that Roger Bannister was fast. 

Insanely fast.

Even though I know the bugger actually pulled it off (and world-class runners today go even faster), as I imagine him running next to me, my mind tells me it is simply not possible for a human to run at that pace for an entire mile.  The ground goes by under my wheels at such a fast rate I cannot see how anyone on foot can maintain this speed for more than a few hundred yards – max

So on a night when torrential thunderstorms are keeping me from a quick ride, let me take the time to figuratively tip my cap to Sir Roger and other world-class milers.  Lately, I have been thinking of you often!


2 thoughts on “An Ode To Roger Bannister

    • Well, he certainly didn’t have a nutritionist, personal trainer, video analysis, or any of the other legal advantages enjoyed by athletes today. Very impressive indeed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s