Roger Bannister: The Journey Of A Legendary Runner

In every sport, certain athletes stand at the center of each pivotal moment. They conquer what’s considered impossible and pave the way for athletes who come after them to challenge the boundaries of what’s customary and push the limits of what’s taken for granted.

Running is no different. This sport is full of names that changed its history over and over, proving with each broken world record that when it comes to the human body, nothing is predictable.

One particular running legend is Roger Bannister, an athlete who immortalized his name in the sport’s hall of fame by achieving something unprecedented: he ran a mile in less than 4 minutes.

The journey of Roger Bannister is incredible, both as an athlete and as a human. Today’s article is to tell his story, celebrate his memory, learn from his success, and get inspired by a lifetime that was guided by determination and spent helping others.

A Quick Glimpse into Roger Bannister’s Life

Roger Bannister

When you’ve had an accomplished life like that of Roger Bannister, it makes it tough for people to sum up your achievements and legacy in a few sentences. This is why this section is called a glimpse; you’re only getting a flash of the amazing journey of Bannister with highlights of his athletics and medical career.

So allow me to give an idea of who Roger Bannister was and what he did, then we can move on to discuss his life’s events in more detail.

Roger Bannister, fully known as Sir Roger Gilbert Bannister, was born on the 23rd of March in the year 1929 in Harrow, London, England. He was a neurologist and a runner.

Roger Bannister was the first athlete in the world to run a mile in under 4 minutes. This happened in 1954, more specifically on the 6th of May, in Oxford at the Oxford University track known at the time as the Iffley Road Track. This very same track was later on named the Roger Bannister running track.

Before this historical event took place, another monumental moment occurred at the 1952 Olympics in Finland that had Bannister’s signature on it. This is setting the British record of the 1500-meter race, despite finishing in 4th place.

Following his legendary performance on the tracks, Roger Bannister entered the medical world and succeeded in becoming an established neurologist. He was even appointed as Master of Pembroke College of the University of Oxford. Bannister was also part of Abingdon School’s governing body.

As you can tell by now, the achievements of Roger Bannister are for the books both in the athletic and academic sectors.

For many people, that moment in 1954 when the announcer declared that Bannister’s time started with “3” was the single greatest triumph of the man’s life. In his life as an athlete, this is absolutely true, but not in his life as a whole.

Although he wrote about it in his book “The Four Minute Mile” (published in 1955), Roger Bannister never regarded his achievement in the running world as his “prime”. In fact, he went on record to say that his biggest pride and joy was his academic contributions to medicine thanks to the research he conducted in the field of nervous system response.

During his time, Roger Bannister was named as patron of the MSA (Multiple System Atrophy) Trust. In 2011, he got diagnosed with Parkison’s.

Sir Roger Gilbert Bannister died at the age of 88 on the 3rd of March in the year 2018 in Oxford, England. His death was peaceful, at home surrounded by family.

When and Where was Roger Bannister Born?

London in early 1950s

Roger Bannister was born on the 23rd of March in the year 1929. His birthplace was in London, in a town called Harrow to be exact.

Bannister had an older sister (by 4 years)  called Joyce. His parents -Ralph and Alice- were from the working class.

“Life was very simple. My parents had come from the North of England, which is a fairly rugged, bleak, hard-working part of England, and so there was not the expectation of luxury.”, said Bannister.

“Mothers, unless they were very poor, didn’t work. Both of my parents had to leave education. My mother had to work in a cotton mill until 18 or 19, when she took some training in domestic science.” said, Bannister.

What was Roger Bannister’s Childhood Like?

Referring to the legend’s own writings and interviews, it’s safe to say that Roger Bannister was an active child with a bright attitude and a knack for challenges. However, his childhood wasn’t free of hardships as World War II broke out in 1939 when he was only 10 years old.

This led to his family moving to Somerset’s Bath after his father was relocated to the city. From there, Roger went to Beechen Cliff School to continue his secondary education.

A knack for running

“My introduction to track racing was through the background of cross country running, which is not a sport perhaps as popular in America as it is in England.” – Roger Bannister

It was at the Beechen Cliff School that Roger unveiled his talent running cross country, which he won the junior cup for 3 times in a row! You can bet he received a replica trophy for this achievement!

“I was playing rugby and the other games English school children do, and there was an event which was planned in which races were run, and I simply just won these by a considerable margin” – Roger Bannister

A run-in with war

Roger Bannister experienced the horrors of war first-handed as his city was air raided with bombs during what’s referred to as “Bath Blitz”. His house was destroyed in the aftermath.

Fortunately, Roger and his family sought shelter in their basement so none of them were injured.

Where did Roger Bannister Go to College?

When the Bannisters made their way back to London in 1944, the young man joined the independent school UCS (University College School).

After that, Roger got into Cambridge’s St John’s College but not before taking a gap year as per the recommendation of Robert Howland; an Olympic athlete and the Senior Tutor at the time.

Roger Bannister was accepted into Oxford’s Exeter College after applying there a year later. He spent 3 years in this University before receiving his medical degree.

“My concentration was really on getting to university and becoming a doctor. My parents let me know that school marks were important. Achievement was something which came by hard work.” – Roger Bannister

How Long did Roger Bannister Work in Medicine?

This aspect of Roger Bannister’s life is what mattered most to him, even more than running.

His work in the medical field was what he was truly proud of, he said so on several occasions including an interview for his “Letter To My Younger Self” in 2014 where he stated: “If you offered me the chance to make a great breakthrough in the study of the autonomic nerve system, I’d take that over the four-minute mile right away.”

Roger Bannister’s running career lasted for around 8 years, but his medical career covered the span of almost 60 years. This is because the athlete retired from running in 1954 and pursued his interest in neurology from that point forward.

This was something very important to Bannister’s family as well, especially his mother. He said: “When I was about to break a world record and become well known, my mother used to say that for her the important thing was for me to become a doctor – a career which had not been possible in her generation and in her society. Sport was something to be set aside.”

Was Roger Bannister Accomplished in Medicine?

Roger Bannister was as brilliant of a neurologist as he was a runner, if not heaps more.

After receiving his medical degree from Exeter College and retiring from sports in 1954, Bannister began a 2-year national service in 1957 when he became a member of the RAMC (Royal Army Medical Corps).

The contributions of Roger Bannister were mostly focused on the field of neurology called autonomic failure. He also worked in the areas of multiple system atrophy and cardiovascular physiology, amounting to over 80 published papers.

Roger Bannister wrote several editions of the medical book “Brain and Bannister’s Clinical Neurology”. Along with his colleague at St Mary’s NHS Hospital -C.J. Mathias-, he also wrote “Autonomic Failure: A Textbook of Clinical Disorders of the Autonomic Nervous System”.

The Road to the Sub 4-Minute Mile

Now that we’ve painted a good picture of the background of Roger Bannister and what he went on to do with the larger portion of his life after retiring from athletics, it’s time we dive deep into the 8 years he spent in the running world.

For the sake of simplifying this section, I’ve put it together in the form of questions and answers -arranged according to the proper timeline- to make it easier to navigate.

Who was Roger Bannister’s Inspiration?

Sydney Wooderson (also called The Mighty Atom) and the comeback he made in 1945 is widely known to be the biggest inspiration for Roger Bannister.

So, how did said comeback play out? Well, Wooderson had already broken the world record for running a mile in 1937 with a time of 4:06.4.

Within the following 8 years, this record was broken by Gunder Hagg and Arne Anderson (both are from Sweden) during the war.

Wooderson trained to regain his form after all these years and challenged the record holder at the time. While he didn’t beat Anderson, Wooderson was still able to break the British record (which he also held) and set a new one of 4:04.2.

Looking back, Wooderson’s story is quite similar to Bannister’s as he too would eventually hold a mile record, witness it surpassed, then set a new British record that’s slower than the new world mile record.

Where did Roger Bannister’s Running Career Begin?

Roger Bannister started running professionally in 1946 when he was 17 years old at Oxford University.

The circumstances that surrounded his participation in the 1947 race were unusual, to say the least. He had only trained 3 times a week for half an hour each time -which was pretty light even by today’s standards- and it was his first time to ever run on a track while wearing running spikes.

His results were very impressive though, running a mile in 4:24.6. This was promising.

Did Roger Bannister Compete in the 1948 Olympics?

No, he didn’t. Despite being chosen as a possible candidate for the games in 1948, Bannister didn’t accept the nomination as he felt he still had some preparation to do before he can compete at such a level.

Roger Bannister did, however, closely watch that Olympics version. He got more inspired and decided to aim for the 1952 Olympics in Finland.

How did Roger Bannister Train for the 1952 Olympics?

Franz Stampfl, one of the world’s best athletics coaches in the 20th century, was behind Bannister’s training program. Stampfl guided him through a modern, personalized combination of interval training with hill running and anaerobic exercises.

What did Bannister Achieve between the years 1948 and 1952?

Between the 1948 and the 1952 Olympics, Roger Bannister worked on improving his performance and time.

For example, he won a bunch of mile races in 1949 with a 4:11 time. In the same year, he also ran the 880-yard distance in a better time of 1:52.7.

After that, Bannister ran a mile race in 4:14 in 1950 where he finished the last quarter in an impressive 57.5. Also in 1950, he lost the AAA 880-yard race with 1:52.1, and at the European Championships of the same year, he finished the 800-meter in 1:50.7 which earned him 3rd place.

The last few losses pushed Bannister into harder training that led to him winning a mile race before the new year in 4:09.9. In 1951, he also won the mile race at the Penn Relays by finishing in 4:08.3.

During the same year, Roger Bannister won the British AAA (Amateur Athletic Association) mile race in 4:07.8 time.

Did Roger Bannister Win the 1952 Olympics?

No, he didn’t. In 1952 and before the Olympics, Roger Bannister won the 880-yard at the British AAA in 1:51.5. He decided to skip running the mile to conserve energy for the Helinski 1952, but ran 3/4 mile 10 days before the Olympics and was satisfied with the 2:52.9 time.

Although he believed that he was prepared for the competition, the announcement that there was going to be 1500-meter race semi-finals shook his confidence because he felt that his training wasn’t deep enough.

Bannister came in 5th place and secured a spot in the final, but he wasn’t too happy or too hopeful with the outcome. As it turns out, he was somewhat right as he finished the final in 4th place in 3:46.3. This wasn’t enough to win a medal, but it was a British record.

When did Roger Bannister Set his Sub 4 Minute Mile Goal?

After the 1952 Olympics, Bannister was considering retiring from running. However, two months later, he had decided on a new goal: being the first athlete to run a mile in less than 4 minutes.

Many experts in both the athletic and medical fields thought the notion was simply impossible, but time would prove them wrong.

According to Bannister, he found longer races rather boring and thought that the mile race was just perfect.

Did Roger Bannister Achieve the Sub 4 Minute Mile from the First Try?

That’s a no. Roger Bannister kicked off his trials at Oxford in 1953 where he gave breaking the British record a shot. He managed to surpass Sydney Wooderson’s 4:04.2 record with a 4:03.6 time.

According to Bannister, this was the race that made him realize his goal was possible.

In 1953,  the athletic meeting of the Surrey schools featured a mile race. Roger Bannister and Don Macmillan were among the competitors, both attempting to break the record. Macmillan gave up before the 3rd lap, but Bannister finished in 4:02.0 with Chris Brasher as a pace-setter. (this didn’t register as a British record).

Sir Roger Bannister wasn’t the only runner trying to run a mile under 4 minutes. In June of 1953, the American Wes Santee made a 4:02.4 mile time. At the end of the same year, John Landy pulled off a 4:02.0.

Landy continued to make attempts and Bannister knew he was closing in on succeeding, so after the Australian John Landy ran 4:02.6 in April of 1954, Bannister was certain he had to make a move soon before John Landy’s next attempt in Finland.

When and Where did Roger Bannister Achieve the Sub 4 Minute Mile?

“May is a very early time in the year and the weather is usually bad. You cannot run a fast mile race if there is a strong wind, because it makes your running uneven.” – Roger Bannister

“The Athletic Association competed against the University. So there was an event. You cannot break world records unless it is an established event, and you have three timekeepers, and the whole thing is organized.” – Roger Bannister

Sir Roger Bannister broke the mile record in Oxford, England on the 6th of May in 1954. The event was part of the face-off between Oxford University and the all-star team of the British AAA. Bannister competed for the latter.

The event took place at the Oxford University track or the Iffley Road Track (now called the Roger Bannister track). Around 3,000 people attended to spectate the mile race that day.

Before the race, the speed of the went was high at 25 mph, which had Bannister expressing his preference to not run and simply save his energy for another meet where would attempt breaking the record. Thankfully, the wind speed reduced before the mile race and Bannister did run the race.

The pacesetters for this race were Chris Brasher and Christopher Chataway, both of whom paced him before and will go on to win gold medals. Harold Abrahams was the race’s commentator, which the BBC Radio broadcasted live.

The day started for Bannister in London. He did his habit of filling down his running spike and rubbing graphite on them to avoid catching the track’s material too much. After than, he hopped on a train headed to Oxford from Paddington station.

Bannister was one of 7 runners participating in the mile race, the others were: Chris Brasher, Christopher Chataway, and Tom Hulat from the AAA side, as well as George Dole, Alan Gordon, and Nigel Miller – who went as part of the audience and didn’t even know he was supposed to enter the race until he got there. Consequently, only 6 men actually ran the race.

The mile race began at 6 o’clock in the evening with Bannister and Brasher taking the lead. A few minutes later, Bannister had finished first and the results were in.

Norris McWhirter -the stadium announcer at the time- kept the crowd on the edge by stalling the announcement of Bannister’s time, but eventually stated that his time was 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds.

He had done it. Roger Bannister had ran a full mile in less than 4 minutes.

Cheers erupted from the crowd upon hearing the “3” and witnessing the busting of a running myth just before their eyes. Before Bannister, runners have been trying to break the 4-minute barrier for 9 years.

How Long Did Roger Bannister Hold the Mile Record for?

“Beating John Landy was my defining race.” – Roger Bannister

Bannister held the mile record for exactly 46 days as John Landy surpassed it on the 21st of June in 1954, running a mile in 3:57.9.

This wasn’t a complete shock for Bannister as he already knew Landy was well on his way for the record, but Bannister made sure his name would go down in history as the first athlete to do it; just like he set out to do.

The opportunity for the two phenomenal racers to compete against each other presented itself at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. Bannister ran for England while Landy ran for Australia, and the race was advertised under the name “The Miracle Mile”.

At the time, they were the only runners in the world to run a mile in under 4 minutes and Landy was the record holder. Despite being in 1st place for the better part of the race, Bannister was able to snatch the lead on the last bend.

Roger Bannister won and made a time of 3:58.8, while Landy finished at 3:59.6. Yes, Bannister didn’t break the world record, but he set a new personal best and broke his previous British record.

A defining moment in the race was when the following happened in a flash:

  • Bannister decided to overtake Landy;
  • Landy looked back over his left shoulder to see where Bannister is;
  • Bannister ran past him on the right.

This moment was so crucial that it was deemed monumental. In 1967, Jack Harman created a sculpture of it from a photograph taken of the moment at the race by Charlie Warner. The sculpture stood in front of the Empire Stadium for years, then it was moved to the entrance of the PNE (Pacific National Exhibition).

Was Roger Bannister Married?

Yes, Roger Bannister married Moyra Jacobsson in 1955 in Basel, Switzerland.

Moyra Bannister was an artist and had a studio in 1945 in St Albans Grove in London. She was later given the title “Lady” when her husband was knighted in 1975.

Moyra Jacobsson’s father, Per Jacobsson, was a Swedish economist who worked at the IMF (International Monetary Fund).

Did Roger Bannister have Children?

Yes, Roger Bannister had 4 children with his wife Moyra. In order of age, they are:

  • Carol Erin Bannister: born in 1957
  • Clive Christopher Roger Bannister: born in 1959 and is the chair of the Museum of London.
  • Thurstan Roger Ralph Bannister: born in 1960) and is a CEO of a private company in New York.
  • Charlotte Bannister-Parker: born in 1963 and is now a reverend. She’s Associate Priest of the University Church of St Mary the Virgin and the chair of the Green Team; an environmental action group.

Roger Bannister Awards

Let’s take a look at the long list of honors and awards received by Roger Bannister for his achievements in medicine and sports:

  • In 1975, Roger Bannister was knighted by Queen Elizabeth the second.
  • Roger Bannister received an honorary fellowship from Merton College, Exeter College, as well as the Harris Manchester College of Oxford University.
  • In 1978, Roger Bannister received an honorary doctorate of science from the University of Sheffield.
  • In 1984, Roger Bannister received an honorary doctorate of science from the University of Bath.
  • In 1986, Roger Bannister received an honorary doctorate of science from the University of Pavia.
  • In 2000, the American Academy of Achievement presented Roger Bannister with the Golden Plate Award.
  • In 2004, Roger Bannister received the recognition of lifetime: Honorary Freedom of the City of London. He also received Oxford’s Freedom of the City in the same year/
  • In 2008, Roger Bannister received an honorary doctorate of science from Brunel University London.
  • In 2014, Roger Bannister received an honorary doctorate of science from Oxford Brookes University.
  • In 2017, Roger Bannister was made a member of the CH (Order of the Companions of Honour).

Roger Bannister Fun Facts

There are many things to be told of Sir Roger Bannister’s life, the following are some interesting facts regarding his legacy:

  • Sir Roger Bannister wrote two autobiographies: “The Four Minute Mile” (published 1955) and “Twin Tracks: The Autobiography” (published in 2014).
  • Sir Roger Bannister wrote several academic medical books such as “Autonomic failure: a textbook of clinical disorders of the autonomic nervous system” and ”Brain and Bannister’s Clinical Neurology”.
  • To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Bannister running a mile in less than 4 minutes, a special British coin was made in 2004. It’s a 50 pence where the reverse face displays the legs of a runner and a stopwatch in the background that reads 3:59.4.
  • Sir Roger Bannister very much enjoyed singing. He also loved listening to music and said that the 3 instruments that move him the most are the cello, the horn, and the trumpet.
  • For the Bannister family, the holiday concept meant staying at a guest house in Wales or the Lake District. This is why walking was an integral part of their holiday.
  • Due to the crowded streets of the United States, Sir Roger thought that walking in America seemed like an impossible task.
  • When it came to wearing running spikes, Roger Bannister’s first time doing it was in 1947. He said later that the spikes were then very long, which resulted in catching the material of the track and making the shoes heavier.

He worked around that issue by simply filing down the spikes then rubbing some graphite on them. He found that this allowed him to run more effectively.

  • Roger Bannister’s family had lived for around 4 centuries in the same village. He always marveled at the tremendous stability they experienced.
  • At the time of Roger Bannister, Britain only had 170 neurologists.

He always felt that people wondered, whether out loud or to themselves, how can someone like Roger Bannister, who’s just an athlete that was probably ruined by all the fame and publicity, dare think he could pursue neurology?

Luckily, his academic performance was excellent and he did a lot of research.

  • In honor of his achievements, Pembroke College of Oxford University anointed one of their buildings in his name in 1996. It was a townhouse in Brewer Street that became dedicated to housing graduate students.

The Bannister Building underwent major renovations in 2011 and 2012, after which it was used to provide housing arrangements for undergraduate students.

  • Sir Roger Bannister’s name was also given to a lecture theatre at St Mary’s Hospital Medical School, where the real stopwatch that was used to time the mile race is showcased.
  • Sir Bannister’s name was assigned to the trophy given to the winner in the annual athletics meet between Imperial College London and Imperial College School of Medicine.
  • Sir Roger Bannister’s name was also given to the award presented by Imperial College School of Medicine to graduating doctors with significant contributions to the sporting community.
  • Bannister is the one who bought the cup that was presented to the team that won the yearly United Hospitals Cross-Country Championship.
  • Sir Roger Bannister carried the 2012 Olympic flame in Oxford Univerity stadium on the track that bears his own name.
  • In Westminster Abbey, a memorial stone was unveiled in the honor of Sir Roger Bannister on the 28th of September in 2021. It’s located in an area called scientists’ corner and read: “pioneering neurologist, world champion runner”.

Messages from Roger Bannister

This is one of my favorite sections to put together or read when looking at the life of an extraordinary individual like Sir Roger Gilbert Bannister.

Whether you’re trying to get better insight into the way his mind worked, curious about his life philosophy, or simply hope to get inspired by his words, the following quotes from the legend himself are a treat to witness:

  • “Just because they say it’s impossible doesn’t mean you can’t do it.”
  • “I found longer races boring. I found the mile just perfect.”
  • “Doctors and scientists said breaking the four-minute mile was impossible, that one would die in the attempt. Thus, when I got up from the track after collapsing at the finish line, I figured I was dead.”
  • “If a man coaches himself, then he has only himself to blame when he is beaten.”
  • “I think that is a universal adolescent feeling, trying to find your place. The adolescent who is perfectly adjusted to his environment, I’ve yet to meet.”
  • “The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win.”
  • “We run, not because we think it is doing us good, but because we enjoy it and cannot help ourselves…The more restricted our society and work become, the more necessary it will be to find some outlet for this craving for freedom. No one can say, ‘You must not run faster than this, or jump higher than that.’ The human spirit is indomitable.”
  • “It stood there as something that was waiting to be done, and I was in the right place at the right time and was ready to do it. My attitude was that it can be done, and it will be done soon, and I’d rather it were done here.”
  • “The reason sport is attractive to many of the general public is that it’s filled with reversals. What you think may happen doesn’t happen. A champion is beaten, an unknown becomes a champion.”
  • “It’s amazing that more people have climbed Mount Everest than have broken the 4-minute mile.”
  • “No longer conscious of my movement, I discovered a new unity with nature. I had found a new source of power and beauty, a source I never dreamt existed.”
  • “Whether we athletes liked it or not, the 4-minute mile had become rather like an Everest: a challenge to the human spirit, it was a barrier that seemed to defy all attempts to break it, an irksome reminder that men’s striving might be in vain.”
  • “I couldn’t touch my toes with straight legs, but I could break 4 minutes for the mile.”
  • “To move into the lead means making an act requiring fierceness and confidence. But fear must play some part…no relaxation is possible, and all discretion is thrown into the wind.”
  • “Sport is not about being wrapped up in cotton wool. Sport is about adapting to the unexpected and being able to modify plans at the last minute. Sport, like all life, is about taking risks.”
  • “Without the concentration of the mind and the will, performance would not result.”
  • “Athletics is a luxury.”
  • “I was always a great bundle of energy. As a child, instead of walking, I would run. And so running, which is a pain to a lot of people, was always a pleasure to me because it was so easy.”
  • “However ordinary each of us may seem, we are all in some way special, and can do things that are extraordinary, perhaps until then…even thought impossible.”
  • “I wanted to be a neurologist. That seemed to be the most difficult, most intriguing, and the most important aspect of medicine, which had links with psychology, aggression, behavior, and human affairs.”
  • “If there was the opportunity to climb a mountain, or to go ballooning, or some adventurous activity, I would always be keen to do it. I loved the countryside.”
  • “The human spirit is indomitable. No one can ever say you must not run faster than this or jump higher than that. There will never be a time when the human spirit will not be able to better existing records.”
  • “Sport, like all of life, is about taking your chances.”
  • “It is the brain, not the heart or lungs, that is the critical organ.”
  • “Our house was bombed, and the roof fell in. We were sitting under the stairs of the basement, and we were quite safe, but it brought home the realization. In two nights 400 people were killed in a small town.”
  • “I couldn’t disappoint people. I did not want to fail and exhaust myself, because I was the kind of runner who trained so little that I couldn’t race again within another 10 days.”
  • “I lived on the top of one hill and the school was at the top of another hill. Nobody ever went to school by car – we didn’t have any cars during the war. So that to and from school was itself a training.”
  • “I trained for less than three-quarters of an hour, maybe five days a week – I didn’t have time to do more. But it was all about quality, not quantity – so I didn’t waste time jogging, ever.”
  • “It’s a question of spreading the available energy, aerobic and anaerobic, evenly over four minutes. If you run one part too fast, you pay a price. If you run another part more slowly your overall time is slower.”
  • “You get very tired, and there was a certain amount of pain and you slow up. Your legs are so tired that you are in fact slowing. If you don’t keep running, keep your blood circulating, the muscles stop pumping the blood back and you get dizzy.”
  • “I came from such a simple origin, without any great privilege, and I would say I also wanted to make a mark. It wasn’t until I was about 15 that I appeared in a race.”
  • “The mile has all the elements of a drama.”
  • “If I faltered, there would be no arms to hold me and the world would be a cold and forbidding place.”
  • “My athleticism was really the core to social acceptance because in those days the overwhelming number of students came from more of a public school background than I did.”
  • “It is a paradox to say the human body has no ‘limit.’ There must be a limit to the speed at which men can run. I feel this may be around 3:30 for the mile. However, another paradox remains – if an athlete manages to run 3:30, another runner could be found to marginally improve on that time.”
  • “Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must move faster than the lion or it will not survive. Every morning a lion wakes up and it knows it must move faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve. It doesn’t matter if you are the lion or the gazelle, when the sun comes up, you better be moving.”

Final Thoughts

To be honest, it’s one of the hardest things to do when it’s time to wrap up an article about such an incredible scientist and athlete.

How can we begin to sum up a life full of achievements and contributions? Well, we’ll stick to what we believe Sir Roger Bannister would have liked.

Roger Bannister was a renowned neurologist and a phenomenal runner. He believed in perseverance, passion, and giving.

He was the first athlete ever to run a mile in less than 4 minutes, then went on to pioneer the medical field of neurology with more than 80 published papers.

Roger Bannister was knighted, commemorated in a coin format, and honored with a memorial stone. He had buildings, awards, and tracks named after him.

He got married, had children, and died beside his family. In the race of life, Roger Bannister is certainly a winner.