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.

How good is being an athletics selector? Normally, you would have to say: “Very good indeed.” The inclusive policy adopted by Athletics Australia for the past decade and more, makes selection pretty much a tick-and-flick process. Win the national? Tick. Achieve the qualifying standard? Tick. Get offered a place via...
By Len johnson   Roy Slaven and H.G.Nelson never tire of saying that too much sport is barely enough. Even Roy and H.G. may be looking for a little lie-down after the slew of championships the July-August period brings to athletics. A combination of Covid and the stubborn refusal to countenance cancellation...
Hello, hello, hello. Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me. Is there anyone at home? (Pink Floyd, Comfortably Numb) When World Athletics adopted a system of qualification based on rankings for its own world championships and the Olympic Games, which it conducts under the auspices of the...
  View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Tarkine (takayna) (@tarkinerunning) Oslo – the Melbourne of the north | A column by Len Johnson A long time ago when we were all good young distance athletes, someone – Chris Wardlaw, I think – dubbed Melbourne the Oslo of the South. This...
  View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Tarkine (takayna) (@tarkinerunning) Fair stands the wind - or does it? | A column by Len Johnson On Monday, 18 January 1932, sprinter Jim Carlton rocketed around the curved grass track on the Sydney Cricket Ground to win the Australian championships 220 yards...
It’s been a mixed week for records. First, on the Friday night before the Pre Classic – the pre-Pre Classic? – Francine Niyonsaba won the women’s two-mile event in 8:59.08, missing the world record by just half-a-second.
If you want to change the country, change the government, Paul Keating once said. Or to put it the other way around, if you change the government, you change the country. So, how does the country, specifically the sport of athletics, change with the election of an ALP government led...
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...
                 

Brilliantly

SAFE!

2022