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"Bannister and Beyond"


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  • "Bannister and Beyond"

    Have any of the rest of you read this book yet? I've been reading it during the past week, and it's a little like the video called "The Supermilers", in that it gives us some updates about great runners from the past, including Landy, Ibbotson, Elliot, Snell, Walker, etc.
    There are some funny anecdotes, such as one about Derek Ibbotson. Herb Elliot was staying at Ibbotson's home, and went over to Dublin, where he ran his famous mile world's record-- breaking Ibbotson's record. When Elliot returned, Ibbotson spotted him coming, and quickly packed Elliot's bags, and put them outside, feigning anger--- and then they went off to a pub together to celebrate.
    Those were more innocent times, and the athletes seem to have had a lot of good times and good friendships from their competitive years.
    Many are unable to run now, and I got a sense of wistful longing from their stories--- it's almost as if they miss the running itself, and the feeling of power and fitness even more than the glory of records and championships.

  • #2

    I've got this (I get ALL this stuff) and have skimmed it. It's interesting, certainly, but not exactly what I had expected. It is composed of medium-length interviews with about 20 sub-4 runners. Many of the choices are obvious, but others (to my mind at least) are odd: for example, Jama Aden, Desmond English, and Marko Koers. There are fun surprises: In his interview, Herb Elliott states that he doesn't know what the current mile record is. When the author tells him 3:43.13, Elliott responds "Wow! Who has that?" He didn't know!!!!

    Also coming out at the end of this month is Neal Bascomb's book "The Perfect Mile", which should provide a good deal of new info on the events of 1954 and the personalities of Santee, Landy, and Bannister. And, of course, the movie rights to this have already been sold and the film (as far as I know) is well into production. This promises to be a 4-Minute Mile Year. (And I won't even say that we'll have to live a long time to see a 3:42.8 1500 celebration...oops, I said it. Sorry.)


    • #3
      Re: Re:

      Yes, I was also surprised by some of the ommissions, and by some of those included in the book. There are, for example, no interviews with any of the great North African runners, nor Kip Keino, nor others, such as Michel Jazy, perhaps due to language barrier.