May 6, 1954


Forum devoted to track & field items of an historical nature.

Re: May 6, 1954

Postby kuha » Fri May 17, 2013 9:48 am

Marlow wrote:
noone wrote:therefore Wohlhuter's mark is more significant

We're playing the semantics game, but Bannister's accomplishment is FAR more significant that Wohlhuter's. It captured the imagination of a world. It made the Impossible . . . less impossible. Wohlhuter's mark is more 'impressive' to tandfistas, because it's 'worth more statistically'.


What you've got here is a semantics problem as well as a refusal to think seriously about history. I can say that, for me, Amby Burfoot is a more important figure than Abebe Bikila. It may be true, but it has no relevance to any larger, meaningful discussion of history.
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Re: May 6, 1954

Postby Olli » Fri May 17, 2013 11:38 am

OK, the historical roots of the standard shorter metric distances (100m to 800m) are partly in the imperial distances, which in turn partly correspond with fractions of mile. The logic is, however, incomplete in both respects. First, the shortest imperial distances were 100y and 120y hurdles (am I not right?), neither of which is a fraction of the mile. Second, 100m do not approximate 100y.

(By the way, does anyone know how the 110m/120y hurdles came into being?)

However, the choice of the short distances (100 to 800) also makes sense in terms of metrics alone, since they relate simply with the 400m track. Of course, the track length (≈ 1/4 mile) may reflect the influence of Imperial distances, but is also handy in terms of meters that each straight and curve spans approximately 100m.
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Re: May 6, 1954

Postby TN1965 » Fri May 17, 2013 12:38 pm

kuha wrote:I can say that, for me, Amby Burfoot is a more important figure than Abebe Bikila. It may be true, but it has no relevance to any larger, meaningful discussion of history.


If you point is that Bannister was the "Burfoot" of his era, then I'd agree. :wink:

"Roger's achievement was marvelous, but it's not in the same league... Coe, Ovett and Cram were our three best middle-distance runners ever -- by a mile!"

Guess who said this. None other than Chris Chataway.
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Re: May 6, 1954

Postby Daisy » Fri May 17, 2013 12:45 pm

TN1965 wrote:"Roger's achievement was marvelous, but it's not in the same league"

In the right place at the right time. I wonder whether John Landy would have got the same acclaim for being the first under 4 minutes?

One thing I just discovered is that Vancouver commemorated the "The Miracle Mile" with a sculpture.
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Re: May 6, 1954

Postby BBTM media » Fri May 17, 2013 1:11 pm

TN1965 wrote:
kuha wrote:I can say that, for me, Amby Burfoot is a more important figure than Abebe Bikila. It may be true, but it has no relevance to any larger, meaningful discussion of history.


If you point is that Bannister was the "Burfoot" of his era, then I'd agree. :wink:

"Roger's achievement was marvelous, but it's not in the same league... Coe, Ovett and Cram were our three best middle-distance runners ever -- by a mile!"

Guess who said this. None other than Chris Chataway.


Performance-wise, BBTM agrees with Chataway, but media-wise and general public-wise, Bannister's first & second sub-4 Miles resonate more, a lot more.
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Re: May 6, 1954

Postby kuha » Fri May 17, 2013 1:14 pm

TN1965 wrote:
kuha wrote:I can say that, for me, Amby Burfoot is a more important figure than Abebe Bikila. It may be true, but it has no relevance to any larger, meaningful discussion of history.


If you point is that Bannister was the "Burfoot" of his era, then I'd agree. :wink:

"Roger's achievement was marvelous, but it's not in the same league... Coe, Ovett and Cram were our three best middle-distance runners ever -- by a mile!"

Guess who said this. None other than Chris Chataway.


Oy vey. How much beating can this horse take?
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Re: May 6, 1954

Postby runforlife » Fri May 17, 2013 7:05 pm

Daisy wrote: I wonder whether John Landy would have got the same acclaim for being the first under 4 minutes?

Heck, yeah!!
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Re: May 6, 1954

Postby norunner » Sat May 18, 2013 5:27 am

Bruce Kritzler wrote:The single most important happening in track and field history?
The cover of the first issue of Sports Illustrated, also.
Sois there an achievement/result that could be called the single most important happening in american sports history ?
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Re: May 6, 1954

Postby Pego » Sat May 18, 2013 8:12 am

norunner wrote:
Bruce Kritzler wrote:The single most important happening in track and field history?
The cover of the first issue of Sports Illustrated, also.
Sois there an achievement/result that could be called the single most important happening in american sports history ?


My vote would be Jesse Owens in Berlin.
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Re: May 6, 1954

Postby dj » Sat May 18, 2013 9:43 am

Pego wrote:
norunner wrote:
Bruce Kritzler wrote:The single most important happening in track and field history?
The cover of the first issue of Sports Illustrated, also.
Sois there an achievement/result that could be called the single most important happening in american sports history ?


My vote would be Jesse Owens in Berlin.


I'd agree, with the only thing close being the second fight between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling in 1938.
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Re: May 6, 1954

Postby Daisy » Sat May 18, 2013 9:54 am

dj wrote:
Pego wrote:
norunner wrote:
Bruce Kritzler wrote:The single most important happening in track and field history?
The cover of the first issue of Sports Illustrated, also.
Sois there an achievement/result that could be called the single most important happening in american sports history ?


My vote would be Jesse Owens in Berlin.


I'd agree, with the only thing close being the second fight between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling in 1938.

As an outsider, judging what seems to be talked about disproportionately, I think Joe Namath might be up there.
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Re: May 6, 1954

Postby norunner » Sat May 18, 2013 9:59 am

Pego wrote:
norunner wrote:
Bruce Kritzler wrote:The single most important happening in track and field history?
The cover of the first issue of Sports Illustrated, also.
Sois there an achievement/result that could be called the single most important happening in american sports history ?


My vote would be Jesse Owens in Berlin.
I'm surprised, i was expecting some baseball thing. I was actually thinking of Jesse Owens in Berlin being much more significant than Bannister, because Owens gold medals had so much more meaning, political, cultural.
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Re: May 6, 1954

Postby noone » Sat May 18, 2013 3:59 pm

norunner wrote:
Pego wrote:
norunner wrote:
Bruce Kritzler wrote:The single most important happening in track and field history?
The cover of the first issue of Sports Illustrated, also.
Sois there an achievement/result that could be called the single most important happening in american sports history ?


My vote would be Jesse Owens in Berlin.
I'm surprised, i was expecting some baseball thing. I was actually thinking of Jesse Owens in Berlin being much more significant than Bannister, because Owens gold medals had so much more meaning, political, cultural.


Yes I think it was a baseball thing: Jackie Robinson's major league debut.
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Re: May 6, 1954

Postby bambam » Sun May 19, 2013 4:03 am

Daisy wrote:
norunner wrote:In the US they ran 220/440/880 yards, which all coincidentally is the same as 200/400/800 meters. Now why would they choose these weird numbers 220, 440 instead of 200, 300, 400? Seems to me they ran 220 yards because it equals 200m, not the other way round?

I'd never looked at it this way before and it's an attractive argument. Until you stop thinking of the races in yards and instead think in miles. As the half mile and quarter mile those race distances are perfectly logical.


All those Imperial race distances started, not in the US, but in Great Britain
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Re: May 6, 1954

Postby bambam » Sun May 19, 2013 4:08 am

dj wrote:
Pego wrote:
norunner wrote:
Bruce Kritzler wrote:The single most important happening in track and field history?
The cover of the first issue of Sports Illustrated, also.
Sois there an achievement/result that could be called the single most important happening in american sports history ?


My vote would be Jesse Owens in Berlin.


I'd agree, with the only thing close being the second fight between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling in 1938.
.

Disagree. Either Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball in 1948 or the 1980 USA ice hockey victory over the Soviets at Lake Placid. Owens and Louis/Schmeling are somewhat close but only events like those transcended sports and reached the general public.
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Re: May 6, 1954

Postby slowcat » Sun May 19, 2013 10:19 am

Let us clarify the first Sports Illustrated issue in August 1954. The cover was Milwaukee Braves night baseball. I have the issue in my hands. The lead article of the magazine was the Bannister-Landy duel of the first two sub 4 minute milers.
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Re: May 6, 1954

Postby bambam » Sun May 19, 2013 4:45 pm

slowcat wrote:Let us clarify the first Sports Illustrated issue in August 1954. The cover was Milwaukee Braves night baseball. I have the issue in my hands. The lead article of the magazine was the Bannister-Landy duel of the first two sub 4 minute milers.


And the batter on the cover was ... ???
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Re: May 6, 1954

Postby Marlow » Sun May 19, 2013 5:02 pm

bambam wrote:
slowcat wrote:Let us clarify the first Sports Illustrated issue in August 1954. The cover was Milwaukee Braves night baseball. I have the issue in my hands. The lead article of the magazine was the Bannister-Landy duel of the first two sub 4 minute milers.

And the batter on the cover was ... ???

Bought it many years ago when SI had a batch to sell.

Eddie Matthews.
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Re: May 6, 1954

Postby bambam » Mon May 20, 2013 6:18 am

Marlow wrote:Bought it many years ago when SI had a batch to sell.


Correct on Eddie Matthews

How much is that issue worth now?
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Re: May 6, 1954

Postby Marlow » Mon May 20, 2013 8:15 am

bambam wrote:
Marlow wrote:Bought it many years ago when SI had a batch to sell.

Correct on Eddie Matthews
How much is that issue worth now?

EBay says $200ish. Wanna buy it? :wink:
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Re: May 6, 1954

Postby bambam » Mon May 20, 2013 10:35 am

Marlow wrote:
bambam wrote:
Marlow wrote:Bought it many years ago when SI had a batch to sell.

Correct on Eddie Matthews
How much is that issue worth now?

EBay says $200ish. Wanna buy it? :wink:


I'll pass. I have every Olympic issue of SI - don't need the other ones.
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Re: May 6, 1954

Postby Django » Mon May 27, 2013 4:05 pm

When I'd originated this thread, I'd thought of Bannister's breakthrough as an exciting event. In those days, there were newsreels shown at the movies, hard as it is to believe in this era of instant communication, and Bannister's mile race and later matchup against John Landy were featured in those newsreels.
I'd hoped that I'd inspire a few of you to read (or re-read) Bannister's autobiography, which is gracefuly written, and very interesting as an historical document recalling post-war England and student days at Oxford.
Finally, I'd like to add that Bannister became a distinguished neurologist, and was very well-known as an academic neurologist, and edited Brain, one of the most prestigious journals in the field, and wrote one of the definitive textbooks on peripheral neuopathies.
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Re: May 6, 1954

Postby KDFINE » Tue May 28, 2013 4:58 am

Its been a number of years since I read Bannister's biography. One particular point really struck with me and I just re-read all the above posts to make sure that it hadn't been mentioned. Bannister had minimal time to train with his medical studies. If I recall correctly it amounted to about 25 miles a week (40K to show that I'm not totally metrically challenged) of interval training. This left me in awe.

Why do we in the United States cling to the mile and the 100 yards? They are yardsticks (another bit of language to go with "milestone" tied to the imperial system) to compare with the past. Those of us with father's or uncles who competed (not me) can compare our achievements with those who came before us. Getting the family record became impossible with the metric switchover. Finally, long after I'm gone American football will still reign in the USA. Hence how long it takes to run the length of a football field will still have meaning to schoolboys and to the general public.
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Re: May 6, 1954

Postby lonewolf » Tue May 28, 2013 10:09 am

Exactly so.
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Re: May 6, 1954

Postby portsea57 » Thu May 30, 2013 9:37 am

Well, Bannister's achievement will be remembered for a long, long, time.
Probably longer than any other 20th century sporting achievement
Why? Because it's come to symbolise how the mind, and body, can stretch themselves to achieve the seemingly impossible.
Maybe it is just a English speaking phenomenon, but so many inspirational speakers quote Bannister's achievement, and I bet five hundred years from now they will be saying, "Back in the 20th century, it was deemed impossible for a human to run a mile in less than four minutes until..."
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Re: May 6, 1954

Postby BBTM media » Thu May 30, 2013 10:12 am

portsea57 wrote:Well, Bannister's achievement will be remembered for a long, long, time.
Probably longer than any other 20th century sporting achievement
Why? Because it's come to symbolise how the mind, and body, can stretch themselves to achieve the seemingly impossible.
Maybe it is just a English speaking phenomenon, but so many inspirational speakers quote Bannister's achievement, and I bet five hundred years from now they will be saying, "Back in the 20th century, it was deemed impossible for a human to run a mile in less than four minutes until..."


Exactly! And one of the reasons why we are working to bring back the Mile is because of that Bannister moment - the first sub-4 minute Mile - etched in our culture, minds and history. Go Mile!

All are welcome, join us: http://bringbackthemile.com/home
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Re: May 6, 1954

Postby tandfman » Wed Jan 01, 2014 3:51 pm

Here's one way to keep the mile alive. Run a 1600 and call it a mile!

http://www.examiner.com.au/story/200133 ... e-victory/

What an abomination!

:evil:
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Re: May 6, 1954

Postby Marlow » Wed Jan 01, 2014 5:37 pm

tandfman wrote:Here's one way to keep the mile alive. Run a 1600 and call it a mile!
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/200133 ... e-victory/
What an abomination!
:evil:

Nothing to see here - it was a handicap race, so they all race different distances anyway!
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Re: May 6, 1954

Postby BBTM media » Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:25 pm

Marlow wrote:
tandfman wrote:Here's one way to keep the mile alive. Run a 1600 and call it a mile!
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/200133 ... e-victory/
What an abomination!
:evil:

Nothing to see here - it was a handicap race, so they all race different distances anyway!


This made BBTM's day: 1600-metre Tasmanian Mile. Go Tasmanian Mile!

Get ready, 2014 will be an historic marker year: 60th anniversaries of the first sub-4 minute Mile by Roger Bannister and The Mile of Century (Bannister & John Landy) and 50th anniversary of the first sub-4 minute Mile by a high school boy (Jim Ryun). Go Mile!

http://bringbackthemile.com/news/detail ... nd_in_2013
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Re: May 6, 1954

Postby Marlow » Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:29 pm

A synonym for BBTM is "quixotical". :wink:
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Re: May 6, 1954

Postby aaronk » Sat Jan 04, 2014 6:20 pm

BBTM media wrote:
Marlow wrote:
tandfman wrote:Here's one way to keep the mile alive. Run a 1600 and call it a mile!
http://www.examiner.com.au/story/200133 ... e-victory/
What an abomination!
:evil:

Nothing to see here - it was a handicap race, so they all race different distances anyway!


This made BBTM's day: 1600-metre Tasmanian Mile. Go Tasmanian Mile!

Get ready, 2014 will be an historic marker year: 60th anniversaries of the first sub-4 minute Mile by Roger Bannister and The Mile of Century (Bannister & John Landy) and 50th anniversary of the first sub-4 minute Mile by a high school boy (Jim Ryun). Go Mile!

http://bringbackthemile.com/news/detail ... nd_in_2013


I saw Ryun's first!!
It was the Compton Invitational in '64.
He ran 3:59.0, and finished 8th!!
First time 8 runners ran sub-4 in the same race!
I believe Dyrol Burleson won it in 3:57.4, so the field was pretty bunched at the end, just 1.6 seconds separating the first 8!

That meet was famous for ANOTHER high school milestone.
Gerry Lindgren ran 13:44.0 in the 5000, with Bob Schul, I believe, winning in 13:38.
Bruce Kidd was in that race too, I think!
He was 20 or 21 at the time.
Lindgren's mark lasted 40 years.....longer than Ryun's 3:55.3 from 1965!
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Re: May 6, 1954

Postby runforlife » Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:30 am

Get ready, 2014 will be an historic marker year: 60th anniversaries of the first sub-4 minute Mile by Roger Bannister and The Mile of Century (Bannister & John Landy) and 50th anniversary of the first sub-4 minute Mile by a high school boy (Jim Ryun).

Also first sub-4 by a teenager. A year of track celebrations and anniversaries.
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Re: May 6, 1954

Postby BBTM media » Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:32 pm

Marlow wrote:A synonym for BBTM is "quixotical". :wink:


This one's for you!

4 Wishes for the Mile in 2014
http://bringbackthemile.com/news/detail ... le_in_2014
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