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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.

In writing last time about the Melbourne-Echuca marathon relay and the toughness of the distance runners of that era I wondered about the training they used to do. I made the observation: “These men may not have done the high training mileages of today, but they certainly were tough when...
The Games have begun – at last. All us track and field fans know that the Olympic don’t really begin until athletics starts next Friday, but sports are being contested and medals being won (including some by Australians. Hooray!). Rio pulled off an opening ceremony which, while avoiding the financial extravagances...
Jim Dunaway, who passed away earlier this year, was one of the giants of track and field journalism. Or perhaps he was a dinosaur, as in ‘we won’t see the likes of him again’, a creature from a past age, rather than in the literal sense. Mostly, he was just Jim....
A column by Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe The most unexpected of many coincidences and surprises surrounding the launch of The Landy Era back in 2009 was the appearance of Billy Mills. My book had already enjoyed the benefit of several twists of good fate, chiefly in being ready for launch at the...
Justice Delayed Finally Becomes Justice Delivered Written By Len Johnson Justice delayed is justice denied is an old legal maxim, but Jared Tallent belatedly received his Olympic gold medal at a ceremony in Melbourne on Friday. After a couple of sunny early winter’s days, Melbourne was beset with persistent drizzle for the...
Muddy Waters | A Column By Len Johnson Sometimes when you stir up the water you end up with a nice clear solution. Other times, muddy water just gets muddier. Six months of marathons has delivered what appears to be an obvious selection of the three women to represent Australia in...
Why Zatopek remains relevant: A Column By Len Johnson Ron Clarke hailed Emil Zatopek as the greatest distance runner who ever lived, not only for his performances, but also for his personality. Four Olympic gold medals – the 10,000 metres in London in 1948 and the unprecedented, and unequalled, distance treble...
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 Nike announced recently that its ‘window’ for the attempt to run the first sub-two hour marathon was 5-7 May, an intriguing possibility was raised. The date dead-centre in the window, 6 May, is the sixty-third anniversary of the breaking of another famous...