The mile has a certain tradition and cachet to it. I guess it is all part of the mythic aura around man's quest to break the 4-minute mile. Some believe speculation about breaking a 4-minute mile began during the late 19th century when English runner Walter George set a mile record of 4:12 in 1886. It was 67 years later that Roger Bannister finally broke the magical 4-minute mile. During the time between Walter George's 4:12 mile and Bannister's famous run many experts believed it was impossible for any man to maintain a 15+ mph pace for one mile. Some rather humorous comments in the 30's said a man's lungs would burst like a balloon if a four-minute mile was attempted. Another report stated that a four-minute mile would pose "a great risk to the cardiovascular system". Some just stated man would never break a four-minute mile.
In short the 4-minute mile represent one of mans most profound athletic accomplishments.
Interesting to note that the world fastest women mile runners are now close to Walter George's 1886 time. Could the first female sub-4 minute mile be a half-century away? I believe a women will someday run a sub 4-minute mile. When it comes to breaking a 4 minute mile the naysayers have always proven to be wrong. It would be unwise to mock the possiblity of any women breaking a 4-minute mile within the next fifty years.
I believe the next great Track and Field event will happen when a women runs a 4-minute mile, and it will happen within the next fifty years. I think the history of the mile run backs up my thesis