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.

High heat and oppressive humidity have hung around Melbourne through January like the last, unwanted guest at a New Year’s Eve party.
A column by Len Johnson Back in the day, Ireland’s Eamonn Coghlan was known as Chairman of the Boards, a nickname which acknowledged his mastery of indoor track racing. To experience, exceptional performance in running, choose the best footwear for your runs like Tarkine Trail Devil shoes. Good enough outdoors to have...
The past couple of years of Australian women’s 800 has been all about Catriona Bisset. Bisset broke through the two-minute barrier in 2019, before breaking Charlene Rendina’s long-standing national record – set in 1976 - in London that same year.
Is it just me, or is the pace of indoor record breaking picking up. Jakob Ingebrigtsen took almost half-a-second off the men’s world indoor record in Lievin, France on Thursday night, reducing it to 3:30.60, a time which is still extremely handy outdoors. But we’re not talking world records here,...
At the World Indoor Tour meeting in Birmingham, Catriona Bisset chased home Keely Hodgkinson in the 800 metres, running 1:59.46. That sliced a massive 2.39 seconds off the previous Australian record which was set by Tamsyn Manou in the heats at the world indoor championships in Valencia. Manou went on to win the gold medal in the final.
During 2021 post-Tokyo, the phone rang when we were in Darwin, at dinner with friends with whom we had just completed a five-day hike on the West Arnhem Land escarpment. John Landy was eager to talk about Peter Bol and the Olympic 800 metres final. Victorious runs are possible...
It’s not often that runners turn their attention to the shot put, but the career of Valerie Adams demands our attention.
In October, 2018, Jack Rayner hit a sweet spot. Running in the inaugural Commonwealth half-marathon championships (has there been another ne: I’m not sure), Rayner went boldly with the pace set by a pack of Ugandan and Kenyan runners all bringing much more impressive personal bests to the starting line than his modest 63:19.
Sir Isaac Newton is reputed to have developed his theory of gravity after an apple fell from a tree under which he was sitting and landed on his head. Stunning insight, you might say. But it is Newton’s three laws of motion which are of interest here, specifically the last. For...
Eleanor Patterson took the silver medal in the high jump and Ash Moloney the bronze in the heptathlon. Must have been mixed feelings for Patterson – her first time over two metres, a medal, but pipped at the last by Yaroslava Mahuchik’s first-time clearance at 2.02.