A man of determination, running legend Roger Gilbert Bannister (1929-) was a medical student at the University of Oxford when he was the first to run the mile in less than 4 minutes (3:59.4, in 1954).
"No longer conscious of my movement, I discovered a new unity with nature. I found a new source of power and beauty, a source I never dreamed existed," he said about breaking the record experts claimed was unbreakable.
Born in Harrow, England, the talented athlete developed his unique gliding, loping way of running through years of research, theory, and practice. Inspired by the positive influence of trainer Franz Stampfl (1913-1995), Bannister believed he could break the record.
"Doctors and scientists said that breaking the four minute mile was impossible, that one would die in the attempt," he explained. "Thus, when I got up from the track after collapsing at the finish line, I figured I was dead."
Bannister, who earned his medical degree and became an esteemed neurologist, refused to believe the experts who said the four-minute mile mark was unbreakable. He once explained his reason for running:
"We run... 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... The human spirit is indomitable."
Drive yourself a bit further.