Namban Challenges the 4-minute Mile

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Left: 4:12 team of Keren, Harrisson, Greg and Michael. Right: 3:56 team of Joe, Jay, Stan and Petr.

For our pre-bonenkai (year-end party) fun run this year, we decided to do something a bit different: on the track, have two teams of four runners each try to run a four-minute mile. Roger Bannister first did it in 1954. Could Namban Rengo do it today? The format was for each runner to run 100m four times, jogging back after each to where he started (a somewhat quick jog—you only have 45 seconds). The fourth runner has to run 109 on his final leg (1 mile = 1609m). After taking a while to figure out where each person should start, positioning people at those places and designating an official timer, the runners were off! Sprinting all out four times with little rest is no easy task, but the eight guys gave it all they had. And the result was? One team 4:12. The other team…3:56! They made it! So we now know…a 4-minute mile is damn fast! It was fast when Roger Bannister did it on a dirt track 50 years ago and it’s still fast. It took 4 guys, all in good shape, one of them a fast 800m runner, to do it. Go ahead, try it. Get four people and give it a go (or even 8 people). You’ll gain new respect for that legendary barrier, and for Roger Bannister.

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Support: Barry, Shamir, Jon, Yuka, Taeko, Yoshiko, Kanna (not Kiki), Bob