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.

Written by Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come,” Victor Hugo is reputed to once have said. Like many such ‘quotes’, this may not be a precise rendition of the French poet and novelist’s words, merely the most common paraphrase. Hugo’s observation...
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...
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...
Canberra delivers fast footwork | A Column By Len Johnson A little bit of fancy footwork is always handy in Canberra, the nation’s political capital, where agility and nimbleness were highly prized long before the current incumbent moved into the prime ministerial office. If the politicians weren’t admiring of the performances...
A column by Len Johnson – Runner’s Tribe Al Lawrence, who died earlier this week after a prolonged battle with pancreatic cancer, was arguably the best Australian distance runner most of you have never heard of. Born in the Sydney suburb of Punchbowl, a member of Botany Harriers, Lawrence spent most...
A Column By Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe It’s customary to include a disclaimer as a footnote, but let’s declare this one upfront. I love the Fukuoka marathon and, despite many changes in the marathon over the years, still rate it up with the very best of non-championship races. Times may...
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...
A Column By Len Johnson The one flaw in Ron Clarke’s career was the lack of a championship gold medal. Long before his passing earlier this year, however, it was pretty well universally acknowledged that the manner in which he re-imagined and re-shaped track distance running more than made up...
Rio 2016, have you met Melbourne 1956? A Column By Len Johnson “Your projects have been changed several times. Your sites, even including the main stadium, have been changed several times . . . you are contemplating changing the rowing to a site I have never heard of. “There seems to...
That sinking feeling - Len Johnson Reporting from London - Runner's Tribe Pink Floyd famously imagined an elephant flying over Battersea Power Station. I fancied I saw a kitchen sink on the first night of the world championships, flying over Queen Elizabeth Park. They threw everything but the kitchen sink at...
                         
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