May 06, 2004

3'59.4": As Big Calm pointed out, today is 50 years since Roger Bannister ran a mile in less than four minutes. This morning, some friends and I tried to (unofficially) emulate his achievement at the Iffley Road track in Oxford - without as much success it would have to be said.

posted by JJ to general at 03:38 AM - 11 comments

Great! What time do you think you would have got? What time if the groundsman had been chasing you? With his dog? (sorry for any pre-emption by the way)

posted by BigCalm at 05:56 AM on May 06

I've never been much of a runner, but my wife's doing a charity fun run thing this summer, so I have gone out training with her a couple of times. I reckon I'm doing a mile in a little under eight minutes, but I expect that would improve dramatically if I stuck at it for a while. I am unlikely to do so though - I find it rather boring. The groundsman looked a trifle more athletic than I feel, so I don't imagine I could have held him of for a mile to be honest. Mind you, there were three of us - we could done a relay.

posted by JJ at 06:34 AM on May 06

Haha! Nice one, JJ!

posted by salmacis at 07:44 AM on May 06

Well JJ, you probably beat me. Fastest mile I have ever run in my life was 8 minutes 5 seconds, but then I can only take running in small doses. It's always been a combination of short legs, exercise enduced asthma, apathy, and now cigarettes. It would have been interesting to record your respective quarter mile times to get an idea of how quickly you could complete a four person relay.

posted by insomnyuk at 08:23 AM on May 06

Here's a poser for someone with too much googletime on their hands - why is the mile run so seldom, having been largely replaced in major championships by the 1,500 metres? Surely it makes more sense to go 100, 200, 400, 800, 1,600 than it does to suddenly jump back to 1,500. Plus, the mile is four laps of a 400m track - the 1,500m requires the field to start 100 metres into the lap from the beginning of the back straight. Why, damnit? Why?

posted by JJ at 08:32 AM on May 06

Not sure, but it may be something to do with the fact that a mile isn't precisely 1600 metres - it's 1609.3 metres. Google isn't playing today, but I'd imagine that it's simple rounding to make the chain: 100,200,400,800,1500,3000,5000,10000,marathon.

posted by BigCalm at 08:48 AM on May 06

Also - looks like athletics tracks on continental europe used to be 500 metres long rather than 400. Bloody Europeans.

posted by JJ at 09:14 AM on May 06

Is the US the only country that predominantly uses imperial measurements, such as mile, foot, yard, etc. rather than the metric system? This may be the last foothold of resistance for us. I enjoy our other benefits like never having to learn another language while travelling and calling football soccer. Why not bring the mile back?

posted by usfbull at 01:04 PM on May 06

Is the US the only country that predominantly uses imperial measurements, such as mile, foot, yard, etc. rather than the metric system? I think Liberia and Myanmar are the only other ones left. Soon you too will succumb to the metric pod-people!

posted by alex_reno at 12:44 AM on May 07

"Youíll most likely know it as Myanmar, but itíll always be Burma to me. . . . You there, on the motorbike! Sell me one of your belts!"- J. Peterman

posted by usfbull at 07:10 AM on May 07

Iffley has groundsmen now? What really annoys me is that we have to walk alllll the way around through the main entrance to get to the cricket schools.. Grr.. I think the 1500m is a compromise between the two and also due to the staggered start perhaps?

posted by Mossy at 07:50 AM on May 09

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