Why The Mile is Dead (and Worth Saving) // Outside Online

Rounding the bend to the final straightaway of the 1964 Compton Relays, Jim Ryun’s arms pumped. He felt no pain as he kicked the home straight. When Ryun crossed the finish line in eighth place, the 17-year-old from Wichita, Kansas, became the first high school boy to run a sub-four-minute mile.

“Coach Timmons and I wrote the goal down. We planned and prayed, and it turned out that I ran 3:59 that day,” Ryun said. “It was the beginning of a new future.”

For nearly a decade, the world record in the mile was stopped at four minutes. When Roger Bannister broke the barrier May 6, 1954, he accomplished the impossible. Ten years later, Ryun raised the benchmark for high school boys. Since then, progress has stopped. High school boys and girls rarely run the mile. The crowd’s favorite distance has faded into an obscurity through an act of Congress.

Read the full story at Outside Online.

Submit your comment

Please enter your name

Your name is required

Please enter a valid email address

An email address is required

Please enter your message

Monica Prelle © 2017 All Rights Reserved