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Digital Subscriptions > Men's Running > April 2019 > ROGER BANNISTER

ROGER BANNISTER

A RUNNER WHO WAS AS BOLD AS HE WAS BRILLIANT AND A BRAIN SURGEON BY DAY, HE WAS TRULY ONE OF ATHLETICS’ MOST UNIQUE AND LAUDABLE COMPETITORS WHO CHANGED THE FACE OF RUNNING FOREVER

As we have already established, there are many ways to become a Running Icon. From triumphing over the competition to winning a battle with events and circumstances, our Hall of Fame contains those who have been inducted via both routes. But not until today, have we encountered a man who has introduced an entirely new angle to the entrance test.

He didn’t just take on competitors and circumstances - he took on history. He didn’t just accomplish something people had never done before, but did something a few maintained could never be done. For writing a fresh page of the record books, opening a different chapter of the sport and ushering in a new era, Sir Roger Gilbert Bannister, CBE now graces our Icons Hall of Fame, with a greater claim to entry than, possibly, anyone before him.

Bannister’s life is, unavoidably, seen by outsiders as best represented by four minutes of competitive action. Indeed, had it been a fraction longer than four minutes, nobody but true athletics historians would still remember his name. Few, if any, have demonstrated the fineness of the line between immortality and the also-rans.

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About Men's Running

I started running in the mid 1980s. Ask anyone around at the time and they’ll tell you it was the heyday of British middle and long distance running. I got swept along by the Coe versus Ovett battle of the Moscow Olympics and the then addition of Cram for LA in 1984. Britons ruled the world and I loved every second of the battles, the highs, the lows, the medals and the media. These guys were my inspiration and I wanted to be them. They were the reason I started running and it was no surprise that my chosen events were 800 and 1500m. That I was best at these was just an added bonus. There are so many influential figures in our brilliant sport. Some are well known, others less so. So we decided to choose our favourites so that you could also get a little sprinkling of inspiration. Whether it’s Dean Karnazes eating pizza by the roadside or Ron Hill running every day for more than 50 years, we know there’ll be something for everyone. Read and get inspired and hit the road for your next run!