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The Bannister



On May 6, 1954 a British physician by the name of Roger Bannister was the first human in history to run a mile faster than 4 minutes. This feat is especially significant because prior to Bannister’s run, it was theorized by athletes and physicians alike that it was physically impossible for any human being to run a mile faster than four minutes.


Yet, a month and a half after Bannister’s record run, Australian John Landy did it, as well. By the end of 1957, sixteen other runners had broken the four-minute mile barrier.


In the space of about three years the “impossible” had been achieved numerous times by a number of people. Today, a four minute mile, while still exceptional, is not uncommon. The current record stands at 3:43:13.


People that were involved in this sport during the early ’50’s built up an imaginary barrier, but when Bannister proved the barrier didn’t really exist, other competitors were able to break it too. [This phenomenon is called] the “Bannister Effect”.

ASSIGNMENT: Keep this in mind as you come up against the next "impossible" thing in your life.

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