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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.

Signifying What, Exactly? A Column By Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe Never hold an inquiry unless you already know the outcome, goes a wise old political maxim. It’s a saying I’ve cited before, but as it is a few years since its last mention I refer to it again. Political inquiries have an...
Did ye get healed? A Column By Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe Nitro Athletics has been and gone. It seems to have had an overwhelmingly positive reception – 1.4-million viewers Australia-wide on the first of three nights on free-to-air television, Melbourne’s boutique lakeside Stadium jammed to its 9000-ish capacity for the...
A Column by Len Johnson – Runner’s Tribe  There wasn’t much reason to remember the 1970s – apart from the fact that we could. It was the decade we regained our memories. It followed the ‘60s and, as everyone knows, if you can remember the ‘60s, you probably weren’t there. Athletically,...
A Column by Len Johnson – Runner’s Tribe  When someone refers to a cat-and-mouse struggle, there is usually only one possible outcome (spoiler alert: it doesn’t end well for the mouse). Especially when it is a marathon, and the ‘cats’ in question are Tirunesh Dibaba and Kenenisa Bekele, both with claims...
A Column By Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe The Wages of Fear is a 1953 movie about four men who are asked to transport a dangerous cargo of nitroglycerine. The plot of the Franco-Italian, noir-nero drama is simple: four men, broke and stranded in a South American oil town, are contracted...
‘Twas the night before Nitro, when all through the house . . . ‘, well, actually, all through most athletics houses people were tossing and turning, sleeping fitfully, if at all, hoping Nitro Athletics would be a Boltaway success. A lot is riding on Nitro. It is kicking goals, though...
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...
The day I beat Yifter A Column By Len Johnson – Runner’s Tribe The time I beat Miruts Yifter I wasn’t foolish enough to let it come down to a kick. I passed him mid-race. He was walking, which detracts, but only a little, from the fact that I can boast an...
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...
Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe The Gold Coast marathon is approaching veteran status. Who would have thought? Not only that, but the event is looking pretty good as it closes in on its 40th staging and 40th birthday. The first Gold Coast marathon was in 1979, so the fortieth race will...