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.

A column by Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe What is it about the Letzigrund stadium and the Weltklasse meeting. For the second year in a row, Zurich’s beloved boutique venue produced a memorable distance race in which the winner triumphed almost purely on their will to win. A year ago, it...
By Len Johnson – Runner’s Tribe – Len is RT’s lead columnist, a sub 2:20 marathoner, Author of ‘The Landy Era’ and a key writer for the IAAF, amongst other things… The Australian half-marathon championships at Maroochydore one weekend, the Australian cross-country championships at Maleny this weekend (25 August): it’s...
Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe - Len is RT's lead columnist, a sub 2:20 marathoner, Author of 'The Landy Era' and a key writer for the IAAF, amongst other things... Youth is wasted on the young, George Bernard Shaw once observed. He surely did not have Jakob Ingebrigtsen or Armand...
Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe The road distance event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be a half-marathon, at least compared to its immediate predecessor at Rio 2016. No, the traditional, 42.195-kilometre distance will not be slashed by 50 percent (fiddling with the distance might be grounds for revolution in...
Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe You know the feeling. Many Australians will be familiar with it. You go away for a Gold Coast holiday, lie on the beach, soak up the sun, feel good about yourself and life in general; then, it’s back to grey skies and wintry weather. Sometime it...
Ethiopian marathoner Kebede Balcha was one of those runners you wouldn’t know was there until they passed you – usually within sight of the finish line. He did it to Dave Chettle in the World Cup marathon in Montreal in 1979 and threatened to do it to Rob de...
A column by Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe For half-a-century, Ralph Doubell’s Australian record for 800 metres had defied all-comers. Now, with Joseph Deng running 1:44.21 in Monaco on Friday night, it is gone. The king of Australian records is dead. Long live the king! The queen – Charlene Rendina’s women’s record...
About the only English people feeling less than devastated about England’s World Cup exit are the people staging England’s World Cup this weekend (14-15 July). How’s that, you ask. Well, England lost in football’s World Cup semi-finals to Croatia and won’t be further involved, the third/fourth place playoff aside. Instead...
Not even the internet had heard of teenage Australian sprinter Jake Doran before he ran 10.15 for 100 metres in Finland last Sunday (1 July). Even once Doran had run that time – an Australian U20 record, second-fastest in the world this year by an U20 eligible athlete my internet...
What’s that sound you hear? Well, if you’re anywhere near a national federation’s high performance unit it could be the sound of numbers crunching. The IAAF is moving to a new system of qualifying for the world championships and, assuming the IOC is totally on board with it, presumably the...