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January 30, 2018

501 American Sub-Four Minute Milers: Where They Ran

Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock, you may have heard that the United States can now boast more than 500 sub-four minute milers in history. Emmanuel Bor of the U.S. Army became No. 500 when he ran 3:58.77 at the BU Terrier Classic in Boston.

As a data viz nerd, I decided it would be nice to see where the chunk of these miles have been run on a map. Using Track and Field Newsincredible list, which has been kept up to date by editor-in-chief Gary Hill and others over the years, we decided to drop little red dots on a map where the first sub-four miles for each respective miler was run. As noted by my colleague Chris Chavez on SI.com: “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.”

Agent Dan Lilot, who also helped keep the list for Track and Field News, credited the spike in sub-fours to the availability of fast indoor tracks in the past 20 years or so. He also noted that the mile is not run that much outdoors anymore. You can easily tell that from the map below.

From the Track and Field News list, Lilot tweeted that 67 of the 68 have been run at the University of Washington’s Dempsey Indoor Center in Seattle. 48 have been run in Eugene. Boston University can claim 40 of the 52 from Boston (Five at Reggie Lewis, Harvard has four and Dedham has three.)

We highly encourage you to check out the list here.

For those hoping to get a slightly better image of those performances run in the U.S.:

And here is the U.S. list in descending order:

Lastly, here are those who ran their first sub-4 in Europe:

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