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World record progression for the mile run

From Academic Kids

Accurate times for the mile run (1.609 km) weren't recorded until after 1850, when the first precisely measured running tracks were built. Foot racing had become popular in England by the 17th century, when footmen would race and their masters would wager on the result. By the 19th century "pedestrianism", as it was called, had become very popular.

The best times recorded in the 19th century were by professionals. Even after professional foot racing died out, it wasn't until 1915 that the professional record of 4:12-3/4 set by Walter George in 1886 was beaten by an amateur.

Progression of the mile record accelerated in the 1940s, as Swedes Arne Anderson and Gunder Hägg lowered the record to just over four minutes (4:01.4) before racing was curtailed due to World War II. After the war, it was John Landy of Australia and Britain's Roger Bannister who took up the challenge of being the first to break the fabled four minute mile barrier. Bannister did it first, and Landy did it 45 days later. Fifty years later the record is 3:43.13.

Mile record progression - professional

4:23 Thomas Horspool 1858 Manchester
4:22 1/4 Siah Albison 27 OCT 1860 Manchester
4:20 1/2 Edward Mills 23 APR 1863 .
4:20 Edward Mills 25 JUN 1864 Manchester
4:17 1/4 William Lang 19 AUG 1865 Manchester
4:17 1/4 William Richards 19 AUG 1865 Manchester
4:12 3/4 Walter George 23 AUG 1886 London

World record progression for the mile run - amateur

4:55 J. Heaviside (IRL) 1 April 1861 Dublin
4:49 J. Heaviside (IRL) 27 May 1861 Dublin
4:46 N.S. Greene (IRL) May 1861 Dublin
4:33 George Farran (IRL) 23 May 1862 Dublin
4:29 3/5 Walter Chinnery (GBR) 10 March 1868 Cambridge
4:28 4/5 William Gibbs (GBR) 3 April 1868 London
4:28 3/5 Charles Gunton (GBR) 31 March 1873 London
4:26 0/5 Walter Slade (GBR) 30 May 1874 London
4:24 1/2 Walter Slade (GBR) 19 June 1875 London
4:23 1/5 Walter George (GBR) 16 August 1880 London
4:19 2/5 Walter George (GBR) 3 June 1882 London
4:18 2/5 Walter George (GBR) 21 June 1884 Birmingham
4:17 4/5 Tom Conneff (USA) 26 August 1893 Cambridge, Mass.
4:17 0/5 Fred Bacon (GBR) 6-July 1895 London
4:15 3/5 Thomas Conneff (USA) 28 August 1895 New York
4:15 2/5 John Paul Jones (USA) 27 May 1911 Cambridge, Mass.
4:14 2/5 John Paul Jones (USA) 31 May 1913 Cambridge, Mass.
4:12 3/5 Norman Taber (USA) 16 July 1915 Cambridge, Mass.
4:10 2/5 Paavo Nurmi (FIN) 23 August, 1923 Stockholm
4:09 1/5 Jules Ladoumègue (FRA) 4 October, 1931 Paris
4:07.6 Jack Lovelock (NZL) 15 July, 1933 Princeton, N.J.
4:06.8 Glenn Cunningham (USA) 16 June, 1934 Princeton, N.J
4:06.4 Sydney Wooderson (GBR) 28 August, 1937 Motspur Park
4:06.2 Gunder Hägg (SWE) 1 July, 1942 Göteborg
4:06.2 Arne Andersson (SWE) 10 July, 1942 Stockholm
4:04.6 Gunder Hägg (SWE) 4 September, 1942 Stockholm
4:02.6 Arne Andersson (SWE) 1 July, 1943 Göteborg
4:01.6 Arne Andersson (SWE) 18 July, 1944 Malmö
4:01.4 Gunder Hägg (SWE) 17 July, 1945 Malmö
3:59.4 Roger Bannister (GBR) 6 May, 1954 Oxford
3:58.0 John Landy (AUS) 21 June, 1954 Turku
3:57.2 Derek Ibbotson (GBR) 19 July, 1957 London
3:54.5 Herb Elliott (AUS) 6 August, 1958 Dublin
3:54.4 Peter Snell (NZL) 27 January, 1962 Wanganui
3:54.1 Peter Snell (NZL) 17 November, 1964 Auckland
3:53.6 Michel Jazy (FRA) 9 June, 1965 Rennes
3:51.3 Jim Ryun (USA) 17 July, 1966 Berkeley, Cal.
3:51.1 Jim Ryun (USA) 23 June, 1967 Bakersfield, Cal.
3:51.0 Filbert Bayi (TAN) 17 May, 1975 Kingston
3:49.4 John Walker (NZL) 12 August, 1975 Göteborg
3:48.95 Sebastian Coe (GBR) 17 July, 1979 Oslo
3:48.8 Steve Ovett (GBR) 1 July, 1980 Oslo
3:48.53 Sebastian Coe (GBR) 19 August, 1981 Zürich
3:48.40 Steve Ovett (GBR) 26 August, 1981 Koblenz
3:47.33 Sebastian Coe (GBR) 28 August, 1981 Bruxelles
3:46.32 Steve Cram (GBR) 27 July, 1985 Oslo
3:44.39 Noureddine Morceli (ALG) 5 September, 1993 Rieti
3:43.13 Hicham El Guerrouj (MOR) 7 July, 1999 Rome
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