He was referring to an earlier attempt:
On 27 June , a mile race was inserted into the programme of the Surrey schools athletic meeting. Australian runner Don Macmillan, ninth in the 1500 m at the 1952 Olympics, set a strong pace with 59.6 and 1:59.7 for two laps. He gave up after 2â€Š1â„2 laps, but Chris Brasher took up the pace. Brasher had jogged the race, allowing Bannister to lap him so he could be a fresh pace-setter. At Â¾ mile, Bannister was at 3:01.8, the recordâ€”and first sub-four-minute mileâ€”in reach. But the effort fell short with a finish in 4:02.0, a time bettered by only Andersson and HÃ¤gg. British officials would not allow this performance to stand as a British record, which, Bannister felt in retrospect, was a good decision. "My feeling as I look back is one of great relief that I did not run a four-minute mile under such artificial circumstances," he said.
Roger Bannister did not use lapped runners to pace him. Brasher led the pace the first two laps while Chataway hung on behind Bannister and then took the lead until about 1450y when Bannister took over. They never lap any runners.