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50th anniversary of first SA dream mile celebrated
Author: Alec Basson
Published: 13/11/2014

​Today marks exactly 50 years since former Matie athlete De Villiers Lamprecht on 13 November 1964 became the first South African to run a dream mile (1.609 meters in under four minutes). He accomplished this remarkable feat 10 years after British athlete, Roger Bannister, ran the first dream mile in the world.

Lamprecht, who was also the first athlete in the world to run a dream-mile barefoot, would  go on to break the magical four-minute barrier five times.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first South African dream mile, a function was held on Thursday (November 13) at Coetzenburg Athletics Stadium where Lamprecht immortalised himself in the annals of South African sports.

Lamprecht could not be present and was represented by his son Stiaan who thanked Maties Athletics for the anniversary function on his father's behalf.

Referring to an earlier telephone conversation with Lamprecht, Mr Wium Mostert, Honorary President of Maties Athletics, said he planned to break the mile record on that particular evening in 1964.

Mr Gerhard Roux, who commentated when Lamprecht ran the sub-four-minute mile, described how perfect the evening was and how the crowd chanted "Div, Div, Div," during the final lap.

Since Lamprecht, 57 South African athletes managed to run a dream mile.

Lamprecht was a former resident of Dagbreek Men's Residence and to honour his achievement, the Dagbreek Maties Street Mile has been held annually since 2011.

  • Photo: Stiaan Lamprecht, Jackie Wiese, Wium Mostert, Gerhard Roux, Lorenza Groenewald and Mohamed Ally at the anniversary function.
  • Photographer: Anton Jordaan​