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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.

When did Australia first compete in the world cross-country championships. If you answered: “Rabat, 1975,” you’d be right. Sort of. Largely. But you’d also be wrong. Sort of. Technically, but not over-technically. Five years before our intrepid men and women trekked to Morocco, two Australians had already competed in a ‘world’...
A column by Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe When I boarded a plane bound for Alice Springs a couple of weeks ago, the following things held true: no-one had run a marathon in under two hours; Paula Radcliffe’s world record marathon remained almost a full two minutes outside the reach...
A Column by Len Johnson – Runner’s Tribe  When someone refers to a cat-and-mouse struggle, there is usually only one possible outcome (spoiler alert: it doesn’t end well for the mouse). Especially when it is a marathon, and the ‘cats’ in question are Tirunesh Dibaba and Kenenisa Bekele, both with claims...
“This is a game-changer.” If I had a dollar for every time this phrase was used about the Aarhus 2019 world cross-country championships – well, you know how the cliché ends. The fact that I’m writing it means that I obviously don’t have a dollar for every time, etc, etc. The...
 Who Wins Again? A Column By Len Johnson One of the games I like to play as a major championships looms is to ponder which champions might repeat their victories. The game takes on a heightened significance in Olympic years. No gold shines brighter than Olympic gold, despite the introduction of...
A column by Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe Only one event has had its Gold Coast 2018 trial and already selectors and athletes are in a quandary. Actually, make that two quandaries if we count the news that Australia may be restricted to a quota of 73 athletes in the able-bodied...
‘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...
There have been exciting advances on the Australian indoor all-time list in recent weeks. A number of athletes – including Stewart McSweyn, Morgan McDonald, Ollie Hoare and Jessica Hull – have produced performances putting them among the top Australians ever. McDonald ran 7:42.76 for 3000 metres at New York’s famous...
A column by Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe The most unexpected of many coincidences and surprises surrounding the launch of The Landy Era back in 2009 was the appearance of Billy Mills. My book had already enjoyed the benefit of several twists of good fate, chiefly in being ready for launch at the...
Brett Robinson, Jessica Hull and Stewart McSweyn made it a good week for Australian distance running this week, but it’s the sometimes under-rated Robinson who should be singled out. It was hard not to notice Hull and McSweyn, who did their magic at the Melbourne Track Classic. The meeting may...