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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.

Busier than santa's elves | A Column By Len Johnson Ron Clarke won three successive Zatopek 10,000s at the start of the 1960s, setting his first world records in 1963. Clarke likewise won the last two Zatopeks as the decade concluded. Which prompts the question – what happened in the years...
Len Johnson Reporting from the World Champs, London – Runner’s Tribe Usain Bolt finished his last individual championship race with a touch of class, warmly embracing the winner, Justin Gatlin, and clapping him heartily on the back. It’s a pity spectators in the London Olympic stadium didn’t show the same amount of...
Len Johnson Reporting from the World Champs, London – Runner’s Tribe Note to future event organisers: when you’ve got a program which is fairly light on finals, make sure you finish off with a real barnburner. London 2017 did just that on Monday. The night had just four finals, but it finished...
Canberra delivers fast footwork | A Column By Len Johnson A little bit of fancy footwork is always handy in Canberra, the nation’s political capital, where agility and nimbleness were highly prized long before the current incumbent moved into the prime ministerial office. If the politicians weren’t admiring of the performances...
If one word defined the running career of Roger Gilbert Bannister, it would have to be the number ‘three’. Words came before it in Norris McWhirter’s ‘spontaneous’, rehearsed-in-the-bathtub-the-night-before, announcement of the result of the mile in the Oxford v AAA meeting on 6 May, 1954. Words followed, too, but they...
The long march to the Marcha | A Column By Len Johnson ; It took us a while to get to watch Jared Tallent in the 50k walk. About a week, to be more precise. We set off for the Olympic walks course around noon on 12 August and we got there...
A Column By Len Johnson In announcing her retirement this week, Alana Boyd got the timing just right. Timing is everything in Boyd’s event, the pole vault. It is no good having the height before the crossbar, no good having it after. For a clearance, you must have the height at...
Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe One of the beneficiaries of the decision to compete in Moscow was Rob de Castella, who made his first of four Olympic teams in the marathon. ‘Deek’ finished tenth in the marathon in Moscow, his first experience of the surging sort of running required to win...
What more can Kipchoge do? A Column By Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe It’s that end-of-the-year time when we (some of us, anyway) turn our attention to who might be the athlete of the year. AOY as the most common abbreviation goes. The IAAF AOYs will be announced this weekend. At the...
Len Johnson Reporting from the World Champs, London – Runner’s Tribe Courtney Frerichs crossed the line in second place in the women’s 3000 steeplechase with a look of absolute shock and incredulity on her face. But shock at what. Incredulous about what. That she had improved by over 15 seconds in a...
                             
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