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Four minute mile

From Academic Kids

The much vaunted and previously thought to be impossible 4 minute mile is an exceptional benchmark in the sport of running. It is a middle distance race of 1609.344 metres (1 mile). The goal for many rising distance runners is to run 400m in 60 seconds; this involves doing that four times over.

On May 6, 1954, Englishman Roger Bannister ran the first sub-four-minute mile in recorded history with a 3 minute 59.4 second. Just 6 weeks later, John Landy, an Australian, followed suit with a 3:58, breaking Bannister's record. John Walker managed to run at least 100 sub-four-minute miles during his career. Currently, the mile record is held by Hicham El Guerrouj, who set a time of 3 minutes 43.13 seconds in Rome in 1999.

The four minute mile (or just under a four minute mile) was deemed to be the physical limit of the human body with regards to the running speed of the human race in the 1940s. However, it is now the standard of all professional middle distance runners. Authorities of sports medicine have long speculated that a three minute mile is beyond the physical endurance of man, but that it may be possible with advances in genetic engineering. However, considering the world record in the 400m is 43.18 seconds, held by Michael Johnson, and a 3 minute mile would take just under 45 seconds per 400 meters, it is likely impossible.

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