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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 In 1985, aided by nothing other than his own ambition, Steve Jones ran away from a field of the world’s top marathoners to win the Chicago marathon in 2:07:13. Jones was white, Welsh and 30 years old. He had never done long stints...
A Column By Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe It’s customary to include a disclaimer as a footnote, but let’s declare this one upfront. I love the Fukuoka marathon and, despite many changes in the marathon over the years, still rate it up with the very best of non-championship races. Times may...
A column by Len Johnson – Runner’s Tribe One of the great features of the build-up to the Zatopek 10,000 used to be seeing the main contenders showing their form with a race, maybe even two races, over 5000 metres. Let’s commemorate two great distance runners by calling it the Pre-Zatopek...
A column by Len Johnson – Runner’s Tribe Could it be that the year’s best performance in the marathon came in the equivalent of a ‘beer mile’? Well, it could just be. That’s if you’re prepared to accord Nike’s Breaking 2 project at least as much credibility as an event in...
A column by Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe The IAAF has announced a partnership to create an official world rankings system as a qualification mechanism to drive the sport’s annual competition system. A short press release from IAAF HQ indicated a memorandum of understanding had been signed with Elite Ltd (the...
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...
Runner's Tribe - A column by Len Johnson Lisa Ondieki took a long time to get a decent bite at the Big Apple. When she did, she almost swallowed the thing whole. A friend of mine received a social media message this week that 23 October was the anniversary of Rod...
A column by Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe Here’s a subversive notion. If you are an Australian marathoner looking to make the jump from national to world-class, are you better off staying at home than heading to London, Berlin, Fukuoka or Osaka. For years now, the answer to should I go...
A column by Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe The most unexpected of many coincidences and surprises surrounding the launch of The Landy Era back in 2009 was the appearance of Billy Mills. My book had already enjoyed the benefit of several twists of good fate, chiefly in being ready for launch at the...
A column by Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe There were two gongs for athletics at the Sport Australia Hall of Fame dinner in Melbourne this week. Raelene Boyle was elevated to Legend of Australian Sport status and Steve Hooker was admitted to the Hall of Fame. They don’t admit mugs to...