Book: The Perfect Mile

By Neal Bascomb

Running a mile in 4 minutes was once thought to be impossible. Roger Bannister finally proved that it was possible on May 6, 1954. Although Bannister is in the history books as the first to break the barrier, he was one of three very capable runners who were trying to become the first to do a 4-minute mile. In addition to the Bannister who is from England, there was also Wes Santee from the USA and John Landy from Australia. The competition went on for many months and each of them monitored how close the others were getting. The was a lot more involved than Bannister just showing up at a track one day and breaking the record. One of the most interesting things I got out of it was the training methods and the stories about Emil Zátopek and other legendary runners.