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Published: Wednesday, 2/26/2014

60th anniversary of Bannister becoming first sub-4-minute miler to be marked with London races


LONDON — The 60th anniversary of Roger Bannister breaking the four-minute mile will be marked with races over the distance in London.

The 84-year-old Bannister will be patron of the May 24 event that will see 30 races finishing in front of Buckingham Palace.

The winner of the senior men’s race will be awarded the new Sir Roger Bannister trophy, and there will also be runs for children, families, seniors and wheelchair athletes.

“The mile has a wonderful symmetry as a race, neither too short nor too long,” Bannister said on Wednesday. “And I’m looking forward very much to being involved with this event.”

In an achievement that stands as one of the seminal moments in track history, Bannister covered four laps on a cinder track in 3 minutes, 59.4 seconds on May 6, 1954 in the English city of Oxford.

The neurologist returned on Wednesday to the London track where he trained to chase the landmark some thought was physically impossible, to launch the anniversary event.

“It’s wonderful to see the enthusiasm of so many for the mile distance,” he said.

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