Home A Column By Len Johnson

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.

Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe Mary Keitany has yet to put her two best marathon halves together into a whole. When she does, as my old coach used to say, she could be dangerous. In London last year, Keitany ran a 66:54 first half of the marathon as she set out...
A column by Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe I’m not really a road trip sort of bloke. Unlike Willy Nelson, I can wait to get on the road again. The then almost-obligatory campervan trek around Europe 40 years ago excepted, I’ve rarely travelled, by road, more than one day at a...
Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe Sometimes, when we laud athletes for consistency, it seems we are damning them with faint praise. It’s as if excellence can’t really be excellence if it is repeatable. There’s some logic to that. Things cannot be outstanding unless they stand out. What they usually stand out...
Runner's Tribe One observation about the Melbourne marathon: the quicker you finish, it seems, the faster you will run. Now this may seem blindingly obvious, but bear with me. Once again this year, marathon day in Melbourne dawned clear, sunny, and becoming increasingly warm and windy. That, in turn, meant that...
Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe Congratulations to Jack Rayner, Celia Sullohern and their teammates for delivering a great result for Australia in the Commonwealth half-marathon championships in Cardiff last weekend (7 October). Rayner won the men’s race outright in 61:01, rocketing past Robert de Castella and Pat Carroll – among others...
Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe Paula Radcliffe and Eliud Kipchoge have one thing in common. Each holds the world marathon record. Further, each holds the record with a performance variously described as “other worldly” and “putting the record out of sight for a generation”. Kipchoge’s 2:01:39 was described as a “moon...
A column by Len Johnson My good friend Brian Lenton has asked me to do a column on his latest book: Thredbo, 50 Years Running, 1968-2017. By way of disclaimer, this is as much of a disclaimer as you are going to get. As Brian once told me in another context:...
Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe Many thoughts flashed through my mind after Eliud Kipchoge’s world record marathon. The first was: “Amazing.” Neither insightful, nor unique, but what else comes immediately to mind after a man runs 2:01:39 for the classic 42.195-kilometer distance. Just about the second thought, possibly because it leapt out...
Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe In ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus is the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways, passages and endings. He is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks to the future and to the past. Janus presided over the beginning and ending of...
Runner's Tribe It is a good time to be an emerging high jumper, an even better time to be Brandon Starc. With the world champion Mutaz Essa Barshim sidelined by injury, and the handful of other men who have recently challenged 2.40 metres, and beyond, variously sidelined or not jumping similar...