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.

Said Aouita’s time in the early to mid-2000s as Australia’s national distance coach was controversial, to say the least. He charmed some, alarmed others – the Venn diagram of these two groups significantly overlapping – but life while he was in the position was always interesting.
All Tarkine shoe sales this week receive a free bucket cap and pair of socks! Not Enough? USE CODE: TARKINE20 FOR 20% OFF YOUR ORDER Deal lasts until this Monday. For a while now, I have been trying to reconcile an apparent paradox in Australia’s championship marathon results. It’s a classic...
When I think about books on running, and athletics more widely, it doesn’t take me long to think about Kenny Moore. Moore’s book – Best Efforts: World Class Runners and Races – along with Brian Lenton’s collected interviews in Off the Record and Through The Tape – was one of...
When a runner makes a breakaway move in a marathon, one of the psychological advantages they seek is to disappear. To build enough of a lead that whenever the road crests a hill, turns a corner or rounds a blind bend, the leader cannot be seen by the pursuers....
If I’m recalling my year 12 physics correctly – which may be a risky proposition – two equal waves meeting as they cross a pond will cancel each other out at one point and perfectly reinforce each other at some other point. The first phenomenon produces a flat point as...
We’ve gone off daylight saving time. We’ve signed off on the national championships and the Brisbane Track Classic. The Stawell Gift is imminent as I write this. The northern hemisphere track season is just getting going. That all adds up to just one thing. It’s time for cross-country. Time to...
Viewers of the recent world indoor championships may have noticed the take-off board in the horizontal jumps was an official-free zone. No-one  standing there as the athlete sprinted down the runway and launched into the jump, then peering closely (and theatrically) at the board for an incriminating toe-mark in the plasticine and raising a white (for a valid jump) or a red flag (foul, there was nothing).
Amy Cashin won the women’s race and then, 15 minutes later, her brother Liam made a significant break-through in finishing third in the men’s event.
Australian decathlete Cedric Dubler’s encouragement of his teammate Ashley Moloney during the closing stages of the Tokyo Olympic decathlon has been acknowledged as an iconic moment in Olympic sport.
Eleanor Patterson took the silver medal in the high jump and Ash Moloney the bronze in the heptathlon. Must have been mixed feelings for Patterson – her first time over two metres, a medal, but pipped at the last by Yaroslava Mahuchik’s first-time clearance at 2.02.