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.

Tiernan echoes of Melbourne ‘56 A Column By Len Johnson It might be drawing a long bow, but there’s nothing wrong with drawing long bows: when Patrick Tiernan became NCAA cross-country champion last weekend I saw a link going back to the Melbourne Olympic Games 60 years earlier. How so? Well, Tiernan...
Melbourne's Olympics 60 years on: A Column By Len Johnson Sixty years ago this Monday (21 November), a crowd a quarter of a million strong choked the streets of Melbourne, bringing traffic to a standstill. “The throng had little motive other than to be there,” a contemporary report ran, “and to...
Why Zatopek remains relevant: A Column By Len Johnson Ron Clarke hailed Emil Zatopek as the greatest distance runner who ever lived, not only for his performances, but also for his personality. Four Olympic gold medals – the 10,000 metres in London in 1948 and the unprecedented, and unequalled, distance treble...
Cargo bolt comes up the river: A Column By Len Johnson Cargo cult mentality refers to a belief by some Melanesian islanders that all their world issues would be resolved by the landing of an airplane carrying supplies and goods. This belief grew in the 19th and early 20th centuries and...
A Column By Len Johnson In announcing her retirement this week, Alana Boyd got the timing just right. Timing is everything in Boyd’s event, the pole vault. It is no good having the height before the crossbar, no good having it after. For a clearance, you must have the height at...
Bizarre pacing incidents of our time | A Column By Len Johnson When a vehicle pulls up alongside late in a marathon, you might be expecting someone to suggest it’s time to get inside. You wouldn’t expect a pacemaker to emerge. Yet that’s exactly what happened in the Toronto Waterfront Marathon...
'Ravelo' - one of two of a kind A Column By Len Johnson Published 15-10-2016  Jean-Louis Ravelomanantsoa, who died on 27 September, was one of only two of a kind. He was the first man to win the Stawell Gift off scratch, a feat that has been emulated since by Josh...
The hands of time keep ticking at their backs: A Column By Len Johnson Among a slew of recent interviews with Usain Bolt one revelatory comment leapt out. Paraphrasing here, but Bolt acknowledged there had been a moment in training this year when he wondered why he was still doing it,...
The King Strikes Back: A Column By Len Johnson Recently, I caught up with a film I had missed first, second, third and all subsequent times round – ‘The Madness of King George.’ ‘George’ is King George III of England who apparently went ‘mad’ during his reign, though his symptoms of...
We need to talk about drugs: A Column By Len Johnson We need to talk about drugs, performance-enhancing drugs. Sorry if you think there has already been enough discussion on the matter, but we need to talk some more. Everyone from Lord Coe to Vladimir Putin – and that encompasses a...
                                 
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