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.

Written by Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe It’s high time we re-evaluated the worth of a relay gold medal, or rather, its relative value versus an individual gold medal. One of the talking points during and after the world championships was that, in winning gold medals in two relays, the mixed...
When Stewart McSweyn and Catriona Bisset checked in at the Australian championships, they picked up bibs bearing their names. They might just as well have borne targets. Each athlete faced dangerous rivals whose race plan would largely consist of hanging on as long as possible, then try to get past...
Why Zatopek remains relevant: A Column By Len Johnson Ron Clarke hailed Emil Zatopek as the greatest distance runner who ever lived, not only for his performances, but also for his personality. Four Olympic gold medals – the 10,000 metres in London in 1948 and the unprecedented, and unequalled, distance treble...
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...
We’ve all done some strange things for training from time to time. But you would have to go some to match the training Ron Clarke put in one weekend in 1966. Granted, most of us would have trouble matching anything Ron Clarke did (other than, perhaps, the three years he...
Inevitable as it was, the decision by World Athletics to postpone the world indoor championships by 12 months from March, 2020 to March, 2021, has created a logistical problem for the world cross-country championships in Bathurst in 2021. The outbreak of coronavirus in Wuhan, and its potential spread, was an...
But with athletics in Victoria, my home state, emerging from Covid lockdown this weekend (14-15 November) with a ‘community’ cross-country, now is as good a time as ever to dive back into Australia’s history at the world cross-country championships.
Monaco’s Stade Louis II stadium has become the locus of superfast middle-distance performances over recent years. Before we start wondering whether there might be something miraculous in the Mediterranean air, there are some other obvious factors at play.