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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.

By Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe I went bush walking this week. Nothing epic: a couple of nights’ camping in Victoria’s Grampians and walks to Mt Sturgeon and Mt Abrupt, and along the Wannon River to fill in the days. Until...
‘Cause no, no, nobody knows you When you're down and out. In your pocket, not one penny, And as for friends, you don't have any Just six years ago, sailing was the toast of the town. A huge success at the London Olympics, lauded by all from the prime minister to Snowy on...
A column by Len Johnson An article this week on Track & Field News’s webpage piqued my interest. “Tokyo 2020 organisers discuss 6am start for marathon” ran the headline for a Kyodo News story listed under Today’s News Headlines. A second soon appeared, this one from the Asahi Shimbun, the race-long...
By Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe The IAAF has shelved its plan to base qualification for the Doha 2019 world championships on its new rankings system. Instead, the rankings, which IAAF president Sebastian Coe acknowledged to be “a complex system”, will be trialled through 2019 so that athletes and federations can...
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...