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Home A Column By Len Johnson

A Column By Len Johnson

Len Johnson wrote for The Melbourne Age as an athletics writer for over 20 years, covering five Olympics, 10 world championships and five Commonwealth Games. He has been the long-time lead columnist on RT and is one of the world’s most respected athletic writers. He is also a former national class distance runner (2.19.32 marathon) and trained with Chris Wardlaw and Robert de Castella among other running legends. He is the author of The Landy Era.

I’ll never get to see Hayward Field, or the Hayward Field of my vicarious memory, at least. If I get there for the 2021 world championships it will be to a totally new facility. No stomping feet on the wooden steps of the famous East Stand. For those of us...
Performances often tend to bunch up around a perceived barrier, the men’s four-minute mile being the most famous historical example. As we see the increased number of performances approaching the barrier, there is a tendency to assume one athlete will inevitably crash through it. Let’s call it the clump theory. Of...
A column by Len Johnson | Runner's Tribe All weeks have seven days, but some weeks seem to cram more in than others. The last week of May, 2018 was one such week. It began with Linden Hall setting an Australian record for 1500 metres at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League...
Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe Whenever my gaze is drawn to what, in the circumstances, might be called the ‘wrong’ side of our microwave, I find John Stanley, Chris Wardlaw and Dave Fitzsimons looking back at me. Surprisingly, perhaps, the images of these three distinguished Australian distance runners of the 1970-80s...
A column by Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe Down here in Melbourne we’re yet to get our feet wet, but winter season’s already here. Rain is falling as I write, so the first muddy cross-country race can’t be too far away – maybe as close as the 12km cross-country next weekend...
A column by Len Johnson – Runner’s Tribe Next year’s world championships in Doha will feature another Breaking 2 event. Not two hours this time, but two days. To ameliorate the brutally hot conditions of a Persian Gulf summer, the two marathons will start at midnight. OK, that’s actually not two separate...
A column by Len Johnson – Runner’s Tribe Out of Africa, always something new, wrote Pliny the Elder back in the first century A.D. Pliny was referencing a quote from the Greek philosopher, Aristotle, but if you paraphrase slightly to “out of Africa, always something in the news,” then you’ve just...
A column by Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe Funny race the marathon. Last Sunday in London, the British capital’s warmest (I would say hottest, but London doesn’t really do heat) London marathon day ever, Mary Keitany covered the 42.195 kilometres from Greenwich to the finish near Buckingham Palace entirely on her...
A column by Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe Australia’s most famous open-water yacht contest is the annual Sydney to Hobart race. Most years in these modern times, line honours are taken out by a sleek Maxi (length greater than 21m) boat crammed full of the latest technology. The fastest of these...
A column by Len Johnson reporting from the Gold Coast Championship marathons seem to attract more than their fair share of brutal weather. Put on any championship, pick any day for the marathons and it’s a better than even-money bet that the day will dawn warm and sunny. Indeed, that it...
                                 
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