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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...
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...
Kenenisa Bekele leaves us wondering as the marathon humbles one of its most prestigious challengers. A Column By Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe Say what you like about Kenenisa Bekele, but the man sometimes known as ‘King Kenny’ is never boring. Bekele’s latest interesting decision saw him jump into the Dubai marathon,...
A Column by Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe Crikey. No sooner do we write in defence of Matt Centrowitz’s tactics in the Rio Olympic men’s 1500 metres final than we get an Australian championships replete with races run on what we might now call the Centrowitz-Kipyegon model: slow as a...
Sunday morning, Melbourne, 18 October, 2015 and the Australian women’s Olympic marathon picture seemed to crystallise as Jess Trengove ran 2:27:45 in the Melbourne marathon and Lisa Weightman won the half-marathon in an even 71 minutes. Like a kid’s jigsaw, the picture did not stay in place long. Less than...
Closing the door after bolt has bolted | A Column By Len Johnson Usain Bolt didn’t need a third relay gold medal to confirm his place among the Olympic immortals, but getting one ensured he would not end on an anti-climactic note. Bolt took the baton from Nickel Ashmeade for the...
Dreaded Lurgi ends Rio hopes | A Column By Len Johnson Forty years after going to my first Olympic Games I have had to reluctantly accept that I have no chance of making the team for Rio 2016. I arrived in Sydney on Thursday, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and thinking I...
A column by Len Johnson Few runners kept up with Emil Zatopek during his brilliant career. Even fewer got past the Czechoslovakian champion. And of those who did, hardly any stayed ahead of ‘Zato’ all the way to the line. If it was hard enough catching up with Zatopek through his...
Ryan Hall: best actor in a supporting role | A Column By Len Johnson Ryan Hall never quite achieved the stardom for which he seemed destined, but if the best actor Oscar somehow eluded him, the American marathoner certainly has a sound claim to a gong as best actor in...
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...