Roger Bannister

Pencil Portrait by Antonio Bosano.

Roger Bannister Pencil Portrait
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The quality of the prints are at a much higher level compared to the image shown on the left.


A3 Pencil Print-Price £45.00-Purchase

A4 Pencil Print-Price £30.00-Purchase

*Limited edition run of 250 prints only*

All Pencil Prints are printed on the finest Bockingford Somerset Velvet 255 gsm paper.

P&P is not included in the above prices.


In the sport of athletics, a four-minute mile means completing a mile run (1,760 yards, or 1,609.344 metres) in less than four minutes. The “four-minute barrier” has been broken by many male athletes, and is now the standard of all male professional middle distance runners.

In the last 50 years the mile record has been lowered by almost 17 seconds, and currently stands at 3:43.13. Running a mile in four minutes translates to a speed of 15 miles per hour (24.14 km/h, or 2:29.13 per kilometre, or 14.91 seconds per 100 metres). It also equates to 22 feet per second.

In his book “3:59.4: The Quest to Break the 4 Minute Mile” John Bryant writes “For years milers had been striving against the clock, but the elusive four minutes had always beaten them.” It had become as much a psychological barrier as a physical one. And like an unconquerable mountain, the closer it was approached, the more daunting it seemed.”

If the experts believed they knew the precise conditions under which the mark would fall – perfect weather, 68 degrees and no wind, on a hard, dry clay track – a 25 year old medical student by the name of Roger Bannister wasn’t listening. On a cold day in May 1954, on a wet track, at a small race meeting in Oxford, England before a crowd of just a few thousand people, he would become the first human being to break the sub four minute mile.

Just two months later, not one, but two runners would eclipse the four-minute mile in the same race. The barrier had been broken down, and people began to pour through. There was no longer a physical/mental block. “The impossible” had become possible. As the years passed, the elusive sub-four-minute mile would become more and more commonplace, but in the beginning it had required the exploits of one athlete to remind us that the only limitations we have are self-imposed.