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Roger Bannister breaks 4-minute-mile

Discover your inner Bannister

On May 6, 1954 at Oxford the athletics world was stunned when Sir Roger Bannister ran 3:59.4 for the mile – the first sub-four-minute mile in history. Now, in lockdown Britain, you can experience your own Bannister moment in the BMC Bannister Virtual Mile.

The British Milers Club (BMC) supported by Saucony, aims to improve the world standing of UK middle-distance running. Events feature the fittest and fastest athletes, pacemakers and a flurry of PB times. For the first time no BMC membership or entry standards are required for this virtual commemoration of the barrier-breaking achievement.

It was 66 years ago when the announcement of Bannister's epoch making achievement was lost in the crowd noise at the Iffley Road track. The BMC plan is to have 1,609 athletes of all abilities running their own 1,609 metres (Mile) close to home any time between 4am on Monday 4 May and midnight on Wednesday 6 May.

Entries are free and close on Saturday, 2 May or when the limit of 1,609 has been reached. There are just a few rules in addition to the standard Government social distancing and safety regulations we are familiar with. Routes must have no more than 15m loss of elevation and must have no more than two loops – so no use of running tracks.

BMC chair Tim Brennan said: “Whilst respecting Government guidelines on social distancing and exercise restrictions the club is responding in a creative way to the absence of competition for our athletes”.

Event organisers Stephen Green and Matt Long added: “We are looking for participants to make a voluntary contribution to a nominated charity helping people during the pandemic so that athletes can not only benchmark their training but play a role in enhancing the social good during a global crisis”.

The nominated good cause is Turn2Us – a national charity which provides pragmatic support to assist those who are struggling financially. They have launched a coronavirus appeal to help those affected during these difficult times. The charity was founded by Elizabeth Finn during the Victorian era in 1897 to combat poverty in an industrial age.

Grab one of the last few remaining BMC Bannister Virtual Mile places here.

We will bring you the results in runABC South next week.

BMC Bannister Mile logo

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