Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Perfect Mile

The Perfect Mile is one of those books that I've had sitting around on my shelf for awhile, just waiting until I was out of other stuff to read or my interest got piqued by it again. Well, both of those happened, and I picked it up, and was immediately involved in the stories of the three main runners who were striving in the early 50's to break the 4-minute mile barrier. The book follows Wes Santee, a University of Kansas runner, John Landy, and Australian schoolteacher, and Roger Bannister, a British med student, as they struggle everything it takes to be a world-class athlete - training, dedication, politics... and more training. We see Bannister break the 4 minute mark (no spoiler there, I hope) and follow them to the Empire Games in Vancouver, where two of the three run a race billed as "the mile of the century." Excellent glimpse into another era of sport; when the ameteur ideal was just giving way to the modern professional athlete. Inspiring, as well - got me out to the track last weekend.

Book 79

1 comment:

SnowLeopard said...

I was wondering that you though of bleachers this weekend- let me know if you go again, okay? Did this book give any good running/training tips? did they become professional athletes, complete with sponsorship and this being their primary job in life? Sounds really interesting, to see how people viewed sports back then...