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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.

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....

Marathon Musings

Maybe it’s because I’m from Melbourne where the AFL media bubble is such a humungous beast that it makes the elephant in the room look miniscule. Or maybe it’s because we are only a couple of weeks on from a ‘local’ world championships in Beijing. Then again, maybe it’s because...
Some readers may be familiar with The Goon Show, an inspired BBC radio comedy program of the day based on the vivid imaginings of Spike Milligan – the grandfather of modern British comedy - as interpreted by Milligan, Harry Secombe and Peter Sellers. One episode concerns a mysterious epidemic of...
Barely a minute after the start of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games women’s 400 metres, Cathy Freeman was sitting in a crumpled heap on the track. This was scarcely the pose you would expect of a gold medallist, but it was all Freeman had left after defying one of the...
By Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe As the clock ticks remorselessly down towards midnight on 23 July, the qualification deadline for the world championships, there are still many athletes chasing the magical entry standards. Not just scrubbers either. Circumstances, and the narrower qualifying window (1 October, 2016, for most events), can...
A COLUMN BY LEN JOHNSON The theory of running rounds is that the best eight, 12 or 15 runners make the final. The cream rises to the top, so they say. But are there too many clots being pulled up with the cream. Two thoughts occurred to me about the track events...
A Column By Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe Athletics is a broad church – unlike the Liberal Party, which only thinks it is. As Exhibit A, consider the Lausanne Diamond League meeting. Not only did we have athletes of all shapes and sizes competing in all disciplines from Olympic shot put...
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...
Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe Whichever marathon host first had the idea of boosting entries by offering shorter distance options certainly did Australian races a great service. Take this year’s Gold Coast marathon. Four of Australia’s world championship marathoners are running. But Jess Trengove, Milly Clark, Jeff Hunt and Josh Harris...
                             
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