Fastest run one mile (male)
Hicham El Guerrouj
3/43.13 minute(s):second(s)
Italy (Rome)

The fastest run one mile (male) is 3 minutes 43.13 seconds, achieved by Hicham El Guerrouj (Morroco) in Rome’s Stadio Olimpico on 7 July 1999.

El Guerrouj broke the previous record by over a second.

Another runner in the same race, Kenya’s Noah Ngeny, also beat the previous record with a time of 3 min 43.4 sec. Neither time has been beaten in the 25 years since.

El Guerrouj also holds the record for the fastest run 1,500 metres, which he achieved in 1998 with a time of 3 min 26 sec at the IAAF Golden League Golden Gala in Rome.

El Guerrouj is widely considered the greatest middle-distance runner ever, with seven of the 10 fastest one-mile and 1500-m times ever recorded.

Precise times for the mile run (1.609 km) have been recorded since 1850, when the first accurately measured running tracks were built.

The first record holder was Englishman Charles Westhall with a time of 4 min 28 sec in 1855.

On 6 May 1954, Roger Bannister became the first person to run a mile in less than four minutes.

The 25-year-old, running in front of a crowd of 3,000 at Oxford University’s Iffley Road track, registered a time of 3 min 59.4 sec, achieving what was then believed by many to be an impossible feat.

The stadium announcer was none other than Guinness World Records co-founder Norris McWhirter. The crowd never heard Bannister’s full time as their screams drowned out McWhirter as soon as he said the number “three”.

Bannister broke the previous record, set by Sweden’s Gunder Hägg nine years prior, by over a second.

Bannister’s record was broken a month later by Australia’s John Landy, who achieved a time of 3 min 58 sec.

The record has been broken a further 17 times since then.