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Digital Subscriptions > Women’s Running > January 2019 > Diane Leather

Diane Leather

Diane Leather was a true hero of women’s athletics, gifting us with an extraordinary legacy that will inspire runners for generations to come

Women’s Running ICON NO. 1

Diane Leather died in September 2018, aged 85, but not before she had finally achieved recognition for her incredible contribution to the history of women’s running. She was a true pioneer of the sport: she became the first woman to run a sub-five-minute mile in 1954, just 23 days after Roger Bannister achieved his sub-four-minute mile. While he made headlines across the world for his achievement, Diane’s extraordinary feat didn’t even get ratified as a world record because women weren’t allowed to compete for a world record over a mile (they weren’t permitted to until 1967). Hers was only allowed to be called ‘world best’.

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