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.

Zatopek week 2019 was highlighted by two significant events. First was the death of Peter Snell just a few days before the race; second, the win in national record time of Stewart McSweyn in the fifty-ninth running of the men’s 10,000 metres. It would be drawing too long a bow...
A column by Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe What if Australia hosts a Commonwealth Games and we don’t win. Not across all the sports. Not in athletics, either. Well, it can’t be ‘the blackest day in Australian sport’. That moniker has already been gifted – if that’s the right word –...
Bring back the mile – has it ever gone away? A Column By Len Johnson In outlining his vision to make athletics more appealing to a younger audience, Sebastian Coe recently observed: “The average age of those watching track and field is 55 years old. This is not sustainable.” How does...
The two women standing side by side at Lakeside Stadium had held the national record for 800 metres for a total of 28 years and 155 days. Catriona Bisset had contributed just 11 days to that aggregate total, Charlene Rendina the other 28 years 144. It was Bisset’s 11 days...
A couple of years back this writer commented on a couple of precocious performers by name of Armand – then, as now, more commonly known as ‘Mondo’ – Duplantis and Jakob Ingebrigsten. Around the same time another supremely gifted youngster, Selemon Barega, came out of nowhere to become the fourth-fastest...
We’ve gone off daylight saving time. We’ve signed off on the national championships and the Brisbane Track Classic. The Stawell Gift is imminent as I write this. The northern hemisphere track season is just getting going. That all adds up to just one thing. It’s time for cross-country. Time to...
The hands of time keep ticking at their backs: A Column By Len Johnson Among a slew of recent interviews with Usain Bolt one revelatory comment leapt out. Paraphrasing here, but Bolt acknowledged there had been a moment in training this year when he wondered why he was still doing it,...
Written by Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come,” Victor Hugo is reputed to once have said. Like many such ‘quotes’, this may not be a precise rendition of the French poet and novelist’s words, merely the most common paraphrase. Hugo’s observation...
Morgan Mitchell
A Column By Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe Being a selector is often a thankless task – literally, in the sense that not many of those selected ever think to say ‘thank you’, and, figuratively, in the sense that it is bloody hard work. So perhaps it is fitting that the...
Jared Tallent’s retirement leaves Australia one champion short in the race walking department. Four Olympic medals – one gold, two silver and one bronze – over three Olympic Games eloquently attest to that. Coincidentally, Melbourne Track Classic, formerly Australia’s most prestigious invitational track and field meeting but now, in this...
                 

Brilliantly

SAFE!

2022