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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.

A column by Len Johnson – Runner’s Tribe  Here’s a multiple-choice question: It’s 3am; the next-door neighbour’s party is in full swing, the music boring its way into your brain. Do you: (a) bury your head deeper into the pillows; (b) ask him to turn the music off; or, (c) ask...
Seat by the water-jump Back in the good old days of Melbourne interclub, when every distance runner had to compete in the steeple for club points, you could always find the ghoulish type of spectator hanging around the water-jump. Given the rudimentary nature of most steeplers’ hurdling technique, falls at the...
Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe Have we got a dog in the fight is the basic question self-interest asks itself whenever a dispute flares. In other words, have we got an interest beyond the fact that many humans are drawn towards conflict – provided they are a safe non-participant. As many...
A Column by Len Johnson Last time Sebastian Coe was in this much trouble over something that happened in Russia was when he lost the Moscow 1980 Olympic 800 metres final to Steve Ovett. Coe was the world record holder, two seconds faster than anyone else in the field. Yet he...
A Column By Len Johnson – Runner’s Tribe Rankings ‘bang’ pre-empts Nitro I’m as gung-ho for Nitro as the next bro’, but we should not become so bedazzled by the Big Bang Theory of Australian athletics as to ignore minor, but just as spectacular, explosions along the way. Reference the annual merit...
Tiernan fastest Australian 10,000 debutant A Column By Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe For those of us yet to meet a statistic we don’t like*, there were some interesting figures surrounding Patrick Tiernan’s Zatopek win. One, Tiernan’s was the fastest debut 10,000 by an Australian male. Two, he became the first Australian...
By Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe As the clock ticks remorselessly down towards midnight on 23 July, the qualification deadline for the world championships, there are still many athletes chasing the magical entry standards. Not just scrubbers either. Circumstances, and the narrower qualifying window (1 October, 2016, for most events), can...
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...
A column by Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe Here’s a subversive notion. If you are an Australian marathoner looking to make the jump from national to world-class, are you better off staying at home than heading to London, Berlin, Fukuoka or Osaka. For years now, the answer to should I go...