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 One year ends and another begins, just as it has for the past 40 years, at Falls Creek. What were once training camps have now become family holidays, but otherwise little has changed since my first visit here in 1978-79. Actually, lots of...
I’ll never get to see Hayward Field, or the Hayward Field of my vicarious memory, at least. If I get there for the 2021 world championships it will be to a totally new facility. No stomping feet on the wooden steps of the famous East Stand. For those of us...
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.
You don’t have to dive deep into Australian world cross-country history to find yourself immersed in a stream of Steve Moneghetti statistics. From his first appearance in 1985 to his last in 2004, Moneghetti was the dominant force in our men’s teams. Had the story of Australian participation been written...
O tempora, o mores - oh what times, oh what customs - declaimed the Roman orator Cicero to his fellow senators in 63 BC, in a speech attacking a political rival. Or, to put it (very) loosely, things couldn’t get much stranger than this. Oh yes they can. To cite...
Len Johnson Reporting from the World Champs, London – Runner’s Tribe Note to future event organisers: when you’ve got a program which is fairly light on finals, make sure you finish off with a real barnburner. London 2017 did just that on Monday. The night had just four finals, but it finished...
With most of Australia gripped in a heatwave, how’re you going to cool down. How else than by talking cross-country. We’re coming up to the ‘one year to go’ date for the twice-postponed World Cross-Country Championships, now set down for 18 February, 2023. I would have said “settled on” but when Olympic Games and world championships have been postponed during these crazy times, all schedules are aspirational.
Sixty years ago, on 6 September, 1960, Herb Elliott won a gold medal in the 1500 metres at the Rome Olympic Games in a world record three minutes 35.6 seconds. Sounds a little mundane when you write it like that, doesn’t it. There was nothing even remotely mundane about Elliott’s...
A Column by Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe Crikey. No sooner do we write in defence of Matt Centrowitz’s tactics in the Rio Olympic men’s 1500 metres final than we get an Australian championships replete with races run on what we might now call the Centrowitz-Kipyegon model: slow as a...
Tiernan fastest Australian 10,000 debutant A Column By Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe For those of us yet to meet a statistic we don’t like*, there were some interesting figures surrounding Patrick Tiernan’s Zatopek win. One, Tiernan’s was the fastest debut 10,000 by an Australian male. Two, he became the first Australian...
                 

Brilliantly

SAFE!

2022