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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 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...
A column by Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe Moscow 1980. Waldemar Cierpinski broke away from Holland’s Gerard Nijboer along the Moscow River late in the race to take his second consecutive Olympic title by around 100 metres. A more than respectable race. A more than respectable time – two hours 11...
A column by Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe Pop-up running tracks in football stadiums, city franchises and athlete auctions are among the "radical" moves athletics must consider to enhance its appeal, says IAAF president Sebastian Coe. Speaking at a sports business summit, Coe said athletics needed to have a “relentless focus”...
A column by Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe Damn you Eliud Kipchoge! There was Berlin 2017 poised to demonstrate all over again the glorious uncertainty of the marathon and you had to go and ruin it. Kipchoge being the great athlete he is, there was more enough compensatory glory in the...
A column by Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe It’s official. Steve Moneghetti is a legend. News this week that Mona is one of two inaugural inductees into the Berlin Marathon’s Hall of Fame. Already a Ballarat legend, Moneghetti has gradually branched out until now he is a world legend (Ballarat folk,...
By Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe A few days into the world championships in London a friend commented: “Four days, full stadium every session, great competition. So how come all I’m hearing about athletics is negative.” He was right to wonder. Those few days had brought some wonderful competition, all of...
By Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe Watching one of the post-world championship Diamond Leagues, something jarred in the commentary. Specifically, it was the introduction to the sprint fields. At one meeting – the Birmingham IDL, I think it was – the announcer kept referring to the competitors as “gold medallists”. Seeing...
By Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe I read an interesting blog this week which suggested the narrative around women’s sports was in need of urgent change. Sally Bergesen, founder of the Seattle, USA-based apparel company Oiselle, wrote: “when you look at the dominant narratives for female athletes, it becomes clear that...
Len Johnson – Runner’s Tribe Mo Farah won the final track race of his career in the same manner as many of his famous championships victories – looking utterly dominant while winning by centimetres. This was not just any old race. It was the 5000 metres at Zurich’s Weltklasse meeting, auspicious enough...