We started a book called "The Perfect Mile" by Neal Bascomb and have enjoyed the first chapters. It's a recounting of three men (including Roger Bannister) trying to break the 4 minute mile record (for running). Back in the 1950s, around 50,000 people would attend running events. Can you imagine that? Awesome. The book also touches on Emil Zatopek who won gold medals in the 5,000, the 10,000 and the marathon at the same Olympics! They described him out doing a 20 mile recovery run after his 5,000 gold medal race. Here's a little profile on him:
One of the greatest runners of the 20th Century, Emil Zátopek achieved legendary status when he won the 5,000, the 10,000 and the marathon at the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki.
"The Locomotive" or the "Bouncing Czech" as he came to be known, dominated long distance running from 1948 until 1954 when he won a remarkable 38 consecutive 10,000 meter races, including 11 in 1949 alone. He set 18 world records over various distances including every record from 5K to 30K, and won four Olympic gold medals and one silver.
He was the first to run a 10K under 29 minutes and the first to run 20K in one hour.