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Bannister and Beyond: The Mystique of the Four-Minute Mile Hardcover – May 1, 2003

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Breakaway Books; First Edition edition (May 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891369350
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891369353
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,685,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Denison’s sweep of miling history appropriately honors the 50th anniversary of Roger Bannister’s feat and will inspire the next generation." -- —Craig Masback, 3:52 miler and CEO of USA Track and Field

This is an essential addition to the story not only of the mile, but of all self-mastery. -- —Kenny Moore, American marathoning star and former Sports Illustrated writer

Those who read Jim Denison’s well-written book will be well rewarded with information and entertainment in equal measure. -- Professor Peter Radford, Olympic bronze medalist 100m, 1960; former world-record holder 200m; past president of British Athletics

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

People wondered whether it was the limit of human capability — could anyone possibly run a mile that fast? —John Landy

Everything came together for me that night: The track was perfect, the air was clear and fresh, I found my rhythm. —Don Bowden

Running is everything that we are. Our mental, spiritual, and physical sides all united. —Herb Elliott

Running well entails a degree of desensitization, and going through a process whereby you accept the pain that's necessary to run fast. — Jim Ryun

The feeling that you can run forever like an animal is very special. It gives you freedom, that: to be light, fast, and strong. —Pekka Vasala

The mile is the hardest to race because you have to be alert and conscious of ever-changing tactics. It's a true thinking man's race. In that regard, it calls for the complete runner. And add to that its mythical nature. It's simple and pure; almost magical. —John Walker

I had this 60-second rhythm in my head: 60, 60, 60. It was like a metronome; it became as natural a sound to me as my own breathing or my voice. —Eamonn Coghlan

Guys like Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard actually enjoyed the physical process of slugging it out toe-to-toe. It was something they regarded as a great challenge. And my feeling about racing was very similar. I relished the contest as an end in itself. —Sebastian Coe

Coe and Ovett ran so hard, and pushed the pace, they made the mile more like a sprint. That changed forever how athletes approached the mile. —Steve Cram

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By peter s. van bloem on July 23, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book is a gem.
Jim Denison invites us to hear these remarkable runners tell their side of their first four minute mile. He captures their spirit, philosophies and, occasionally, ego, brilliantly.
Some broke four minutes by accident, others to humble an opponent. Some were spiritual about it, others scientific.
Wow. Not at all what I assumed about four minute milers. As I am not a member of that elite group, I learned they're just like regular people. Just, uh, faster. I feel as if I know these men, despite their accomplishments as runners.
I expect my daughters will read it, embrace it, and chase the dream of the sub-four minute mile.
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