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 then to assess athletics in 2021. There were good things and bad things to be sure and good and bad monarchs still run the sport. But was 2021 a good year, a bad year, or a first taste of some new normal.
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...
In December, 1952, a young man stood on the starting line for a mile race at Melbourne’s Olympic Park, unsure whether the rumbling in his stomach was pre-race nerves or emanated from the couple of meat pies and chocolate sundae he had wolfed down fewer than two hours earlier.
A column by Len Johnson – Runner’s Tribe Al Lawrence, who died earlier this week after a prolonged battle with pancreatic cancer, was arguably the best Australian distance runner most of you have never heard of. Born in the Sydney suburb of Punchbowl, a member of Botany Harriers, Lawrence spent most...
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...
A Federation of Her Own | A Column By Len Johnson The 1992 film, A League of Their Own, tells a fictionalised account of the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, formed during World War II when the men’s major leagues were facing temporary closure. A League of Their Own? Decima...
Journalists everywhere love a cliché. Each well-worn phrase (see what I did there?) represents a few precious words of the 600-or-so length of most stories that they don’t have to think of for themselves. The more sophisticated practitioners disguise their superfluity by a ready resort to adjectives. Sports journalists are...
Like many other fans, I’m excited about the imminent world cross-country championships. Not least, because I’m going to be there. From the outset, the Danish city of Aarhus has promised us something special, its defining aspect the most exciting roof-top chase since Michael Caine and his crew evaded the chasing...
A Column by Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe Cross-country: something for everybody. Just step outside and run. Invented by cave-dwellers fleeing mastodons, cross-country simply involves running as fast as you can – faster than a pre-historic predator, in any case – for as long as you can, over whatever terrain confronts...
A column by Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe I don’t know if the crack of Wayde Van Niekerk’s anterior cruciate ligament rupturing was heard all the way around the world, but it certainly reverberated from Cape Town at least as far as Queensland’s Gold Coast. At one stroke, Van Niekerk tore...