Not many people can claim a world record, let alone three, but Diane Charles, from Zelah, became the first woman to run a mile in under five minutes in 1954.
Just 23 days after Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile, Diane posted a time of 4 minutes 59.6 seconds in a club meet whilst at Birchfield Harriers.
Diane, who recently turned 80, said; “I had tried it a few times at bigger events but not quite managed to get below five minutes.
“Obviously Roger Bannister had just broken four minutes, but with the help of two pace makers.
“We were running on our own but when the time keeper announced that the five minute barrier could be on the crowd really got behind me.
“I really stretched out in the final hundred and when I found out my time I thought Oh good, at last!”
Diane then went on to break the world record for 880 yards as well as her own time for the mile by a massive 15 seconds the following year, a record that then stood for seven years.
Diane is now hoping to spur more people on by get involved in Runway Runaround for the Cornwall Air Ambulance, which takes place on Sunday March 24 at RAF St Mawgan.
“Running is a great way to get and stay fit.” Says Diane “The Runway Runaround event is a really nice course and with the four km fun run or ten km option anyone can take part.”
Susie Smith, fundraising manager for the charity said; “We are delighted that Diane is getting involved, she truly is a running legend.
“As Diane said, Runway Runaround is a great event for keen runners and novices alike.
“It’s through events like this that we can continue our vital work, which is saving time and saving lives.”
To register for the event simply log onto www.cornwallairambulancetrust.org, or call the fundraising team on 01637 889926.
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