As Hillary and Tenzing became the first men to climb Everest, at home, three men triumphed over human limitation to change sporting history for ever.
'You wake up half excited, half terrified. Like a man under a sentence, you have but one thought. And the first thing you always do is go to the window and look out at the weather. A glance at the tree branches stiffening in the wind, the sky cinder-track grey, the rain spitting from the scudding clouds, tells you the whole idea is preposterous. How could you run a decent time on the day like this, let alone break a record?'
How fast can a man run a mile? No other question has so haunted the sporting imagination. No other single athletic event has kicked up so much interest. This is the story of the long quest for the "Magic Mile" that began, remarkably, in the nineteenth century.
The methods the runners used, the secrets they uncovered, were passed like a baton through the generations, until the quest reached its climax on the 6th May 1954, when Roger Bannister, Christopher Chataway and Chris Brasher united to achieve the impossible.
None of these athletes ran alone. They built on the foundations laid by men before them.