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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.

Looks Good Enough To Eat My internet search engine (rhymes with poodle) regularly publishes doodles (also rhymes) commemorating various anniversaries. The import of these usually ranges from “I didn’t know that”, through “ho-hum”, to “I didn’t want to know that.” Occasionally, one strikes a chord and a resounding one was hit...
A Column By Len Johnson When David McNeill ran 27:45.01 in the Payton Jordan meeting in Stanford this May, his performance had a certain Dickensian element. To cite the opening line from A Tale of Two Cities , it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. The...
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 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  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...
Best marathon ever (except for the others) | A Column By Len Johnson If you think that the quickest marathon is automatically the best marathon, then don’t bother to read further. Save yourself some time. Eliud Kipchoge won the elite men’s division of the London Marathon last Sunday in two hours...
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...
Something to be said for insomnia There’s not much to be said for insomnia. Nothing to be said for it, in fact, for those who suffer from the full-blown sleeping disorder. There’s little more to be said for the occasional sleepless night either, except that cable television offers options that we...
Norm Osborne, who passed away on 25 June after a long illness, was one of Australia’s pre-eminent coaches, guiding the careers of Olympic 400 metres silver medallist Rick Mitchell and former Australian 1500 metres record holders Marg Crowley and Mike Hillardt. I should immediately add – “among many others”. Although...
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...