This is the third of the articles I first wrote in 2007, apparently way in front of the curve of the media about these matters. So here it is again, updated.
I remember well the excitement when in 1954 Roger Bannister, a 25-year-old British medical student, not a professional athlete, became the first man to run a mile in less than four minutes. His time was 3mins 59.4 seconds, achieved at the Iffley Road track in Oxford and watched by about 3,000 spectators. In spite of strong cross winds with 30 m.p.h. gusts he broke the psychological barrier and made a four minute mile possible for every good miler. Inside two years the first three in top class mile races always broke the four minute mile. Today the record is around 3 minutes 43 seconds.