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The pacemaker

I beat Vladimir Kuts and helped Roger Bannister to break the four-minute mile. In sport, it is stories, not statistics, that matter.

It is curious to have a few minutes of your youth continually replayed. I am not complaining. Agony at the time, it is enjoyable enough to look back upon my White City race with Vladimir Kuts. I am surprised and, I suppose, pleased that it has continued to be cited through the years as one of the sport’s most exciting races.

What is it, though, that determines which sporting event is remembered and which forgotten? Generals and politicians are assessed and reassessed. Young scholars try to make their mark by denting the reputation of some historical figure and gradually their…

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