Over the weekend, Emmanuel Bor of the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program became the 500th American to break four minutes for the mile. Bor ran 3:58.77 to place seventh in the mile at the Boston University John Thomas Terrier Classic.
The first-ever American man to run under four minutes for the mile was Cal distance runner Don Bowden, who ran 3:58.7 on June 1, 1957 in Stockton, California at 20 years old. At the time, the four-minute barrier had been broken 17 times by 11 runners. Oxford medical student Roger Bannister was the first man to accomplish the feat when he ran 3:59.4 on May 6, 1954.
Bor was born in Kenya but runs for the United States as one of three Bor brothers in the U.S. Army. His brother, Hillary, competed in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Emmanuel Bor joined the U.S. Army in March 2014.
“We were doing it as a workout,” Bor told LetsRun.com. “I think I can run under 3:55, 3:54. Today I was a little bit tired and yesterday, all night, I didn’t sleep. For some reason, I didn’t sleep all night. And my hamstring was a little bit tight.”
Bor was one of seven new additions to the U.S. sub-four minute mile list from over the weekend. Collegiate runners Mick Stanovsek and Cooper Teare of Oregon ran 3:57.90 and 3:59.29, respectively in New York City. Kyle Mau of Indiana ran 3:59.15 on the Hoosiers' home track in Bloomington. Jon Davis of Illinois ran 3:59.46 in Champaign. Olympian Shadrack Kipchirchir won the Boston race that featured Bor in 3:55.52 but was only No. 499. Just three hours after Bor's run, David Ribich of Western Oregon became No. 501 with his 3:58.88 in Seattle.
Of the 501 sub-four minute miles run by Americans 241 have been run indoors. Since 2008, there have been 144 sub-four minute miles run indoors. The full list of U.S. sub-four minute milers can be found on Track and Field News.
Milestone U.S. Milers Who Have Broken Four Minutes For The Mile
No. 1 – Don Bowden, 3:58.7 in Stockton, Calif. (June 1, 1957)
No. 100 – Jim Spivey, 3:58.9 indoors in Louisville, Ky. (Feb. 9 1980)
No. 200 – Jon Warren, 3:59.30 in Eugene, Ore. (June 4, 1994)
No. 300 – John Richardson, 3:59.35 indoors in Lexington, Ky. (Feb. 2, 2008)
No. 400 – Robby Andrews, 3:57.82 in Philadelphia (April 27, 2013)
No. 500 – Emmanuel Bor, 3:58.77 indoors in Boston (Jan. 27, 2017)