The article Tuesday on my participation in the first 4-minute mile, based on a telephone interview, contained one serious error.

In explaining why I thought I had finished last, I tried to make it clear that while I had not been conscious of passing Chris Brasher, it must have been because, after finishing his stint as pace-setter, he moved to an outside lane and inconspicuously finished the last lap and a half. He was well aware that if he did not finish, the record would be disallowed.

About a year earlier, Roger Bannister had run a 4:02. Brasher had ambled through two laps while Bannister was running three, leaving him fresh enough to set the necessary pace for the last quarter. This would have been a British record, but never made it into the books as such because Brasher had not been a bona fide competitor.

The obvious pace setting at the Iffley Road track (the site of the groundbreaking run) did raise at least one muted protest, but the sheer magnitude of the achievement prevailed.

George F. Dole


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