Right focus

It was two years after John Landy had broken the four minute mile; two years after a LOOK BACK had cost him the “Miracle Mile” race.

This time John Landy was running in the final at the 1956 Australian National Championships prior to the Melbourne Olympic Games.  Also in the race was Ron Clarke, the young Aussie who would one day hold every world record from two miles to 20 kilometres. Ron Clarke fell after clipping another runner’s heel. Landy, close behind, leaped desperately to clear his body, but his spikes landed on the inside of Clarke’s arm.

As other runners streamed past, Landy pulled up and WENT BACK to check on Clarke and apologise. Clarke assured him the injury wasn’t bad, and with Clarke urging him on, he astonished the 22,000 spectators when he began to chase the field of runners now a long way ahead of him.

There was about a lap and a half to go to the finish. On the last lap he was really hurting, but amazingly, HE WON THE RACE.  His time was 4 minutes 2 seconds. His act of chivalry had cost him an estimated SEVEN SECONDS and there is little doubt he would have easily beaten the world record.

John Landy won the championship ~ and so much more!
His example of pure sportsmanship is a legend.

One journalist recorded:
“Yours was a classic sporting gesture.
It was a senseless piece of chivalry but it will be remembered
as one of the finest actions in the history of sport.
In a nutshell, you sacrificed your chance of a world record
to go to the aid of a fallen rival
and you achieved much more than any world record”

The bronze statue entitled ‘Sportsmanship‘ celebrates the moment when Landy helps Clarke to his feet. It was created by Mitch Mitchell and is situated on the lawns adjacent to Olympic Park in Melbourne.

As a Christian this account of John Landy challenges me.

I am in a race – the race that is set from the cross to glory [Hebrews 12:1-4]
I am instructed to maintain my focus ~ “looking unto Jesus

I am also instructed that I am an ambassador, given the ministry of reconciliation, and that I am responsible for others. I have a duty of care towards them.
I am to love them wholeheartedly, with the love of Christ.
I am not to think of myself, but to put the needs of others first.

How many “Ron Clarkes” are there in my life?
That is, how many are in need of help but I (like the other runners) pass by?
How often do I think only of myself and my desires?

How often am I a “John Landy”? 
That is, how often do I forget about self and my desires and reach out to help someone else?
How often do I suffer a setback and get up to continue – or do I wallow in self pity and/or defeat?

Take me and all I have, dear Lord,
And get me so close to Thee
That I feel the throb
of the deep heart of God
Until I burn out for Thee.

About meetingintheclouds

I am Cloudwatcher, a 76 year old Christian lady, happily married to a wonderful man for over 50 years. We have five wonderful sons, all with at least one University degree and in top positions in their chosen fields. One son is still single but four have found perfect wives and they have given us five lovely grandchildren. I was born in England and while I'm proud of my English heritage, I am doubly proud to be a true-blue, fair-dinkum Aussie. My husband and I are committed Christians whose first priority is to love and serve our risen Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. My life story will tell of my journey from abuse to peace. I suffered 22 years of abuse, being constantly told I was totally evil and an ugly freak: no one would ever want me, so I might as well do the world a favour and kill myself.
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20 Responses to RIGHT FOCUS: John Landy GOES BACK

  1. Sebastian says:

    Hello…thank you for this post! I had never heard this story but I will never forget it! May God continually Bless you!! — Sebastian


  2. Heather says:

    This is such a good illustration of the need to keep our eyes on the true Prize!

    I hope you are well, Angela. You have been a wonderful encouragement to me and I have appreciated reading your postings and comments.

    In Him,



  3. Debbie says:

    Hi dear Angela . . .Just thinking of you tonight and wanted you to know. Praying for His peace and comfort to be with you always!
    love in Jesus,


  4. jelillie says:

    Thanks Angela! This little series has been wonderful for me to read and meditate on! I hope to hear from you again soon!


  5. snowgood says:

    I’m no athletics enthusiast, but greatly lament the “win at all costs” mentality which has gripped the sporting world.
    Football teams operate on enormous levels of debt, a NZ rugby player admitted this wekend he tried to break his cousins leg in a match (he got a two match suspension).
    Racing drivers wipe each other our rather than letting another man pass & teh have to attempt a re-pass.
    Cyclists admit they rely on performance enhancing drugs….the lis goes on.
    What really mattered to Stirling Moss was “character”. Jackie Stewart the two times World Champion fought tooth and nail to bring integrity to a “sport” which killed 2 in 3 of its’ competitors.
    Christ would have us “champion” integrity long before he asks us to “win”.
    The Christian is actually called to “lose his life”, but all too often we struggle to put Christ first, and SELF gets in the way.


    • Thanks for bringing out this aspect. It is so true that integrity is almost an unknown concept not only in sports but in the everyday lives of most people. In fact, in many businesses today integrity would be listed on the negative side.
      As Christians we need to uphold the truth, keeping our eyes firmly focussed on Christ and following His way. It is so true that we all too often take our eyes off Him and find ourselves struggling and defeated until we turn back to Him.


  6. pbus1 says:

    Hi Angela,

    Because of my health issues, I am definitely not able to reach out and touch the lives of others the way I once did. However, I thank God because I still have it in my heart, to help others however and whenever I can, especially as the Lord leads me in this area. Yes, at times I may have a pity party for myself, but it does not prevent me from reaching out in the ways that I can, to help others, still. I count that as a blessing.

    I hope you are doing well, and I pray that the Lord will strengthen you, and keep you in His loving care



  7. Debbie says:

    Angela, I loved this story and didn’t know of it.It has me thinking about something that we all hear a lot about and I know it is based on some truth. Its that we need to take care of ourselves, so we can take care of others. I have the feeling from reading your comments that you do / did quite a bit for others. For some reason, I don’t see you as one who worried a great deal over doing for herself, to keep balanced , and all that. That is what hit me about this post . . .to go ahead and do for others, put them first, and let God take care of your position in the field.
    God bless you, for bringing us to Him and helping us run our races for His glory! love and prayers!


    • Yes, Debbie, like we always told the children – if we want JOY we need to ensure it is Jesus-Others-You. When we put Him first and then others, we will know true joy.

      No, I am not a worrier. Why should I be? Apart from stomach ulcers, headaches, etc worry can achieve nothing. Besides, I have a great worry/burden bearer who is in control and whose desire is the very best for me.

      What a wonderful Saviour!


  8. Annie Hope says:

    Why have you blocked my posts Angela, you talk about Love but this is not Loving, are you like some others and judge by your own agenda?

    Anne Stocks.


    • Annie, I have NOT blocked your posts. I have never blocked posts and indeed I would not know how to do so, even if I wanted to.


      • Freedomborn says:

        Dear Angela, I’m sorry but I tried a few times this morning to post as freedomborn and it just kept disappearing ? but sadly some people have blocked me just recently so I wrongly thought you were too, like you I don’t know how, but also like you I would never do this to someone, it is not Loving, that was why I was shocked when it happened on your Blog, your one of the most Loving people that I have met Blogging, there are others but I have very much appreciated our fellowship, please forgive me for thinking ill of you but I was hurting and just could not take anymore.- Christian Love Anne. ( Annie )

        P.S Annie is my Pen Name for my Poetry and Stories, I have had it for many years.


        • Freedomborn says:

          Hi Angela, well I’m still not sure what happened but it happened with a few other peoples Blog too, my post just kept disappearing it must be something to do with Computer Technology which I do not understand at all but as I said before there were a few who chose to delete them, Truth sometimes hurts even if it also heals, but if people won’t listen we move on.

          I have been reading more of your life story it is easier for me to understand if I read it a bit at a time, I agree it is indeed wonderful that we are adopted by God even before we are Born. The first time I realised this I had just been told I was not equal to my sisters and brother because I was just Adopted, I was so upset and could not stop crying, I decided to go home instead of going to my first Know Your Bible class but instead I went and learnt for the first time about being Adopted by God and I cried even more but it was with Joy …I was adopted by God and in His eyes I was beautiful and special and He chose that day to tell me because He knew I would be hurting ..like you I Love Him so much.

          I finally found the Story of the race that’s like yours, I will post it today for you, thanks for being you.

          Christian Love Anne


  9. Annie Hope says:

    How wonderful is this message, thank you Angela, and yes we are in a race to win the prize and we will in Christ Jesus. Your sharing reminds me of a story I have of another race with disabled children I will post it for you on my Blog, I’m sure it will touch your heart as it did mine. I also haven’t forgotten about the famous woman, I will do one today for you. Thank you for your encouragement on my Blog and as I said to The Bible man and others who do the same, thank you for being faithful to take an interest in what others do in the Lord’s name, may you be greatly blessed for doing so.

    Hebrews 10:24 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto Love and to good works:

    I have included you in my Blog Role Angela I hope this is ok with you, I enjoy your sharing and focus I’m sure others will too.

    Christian Love Anne ( Annie )


    • Thank you Annie. It took me a little while to realise you are Freedomborn. Do you have two sites?

      Yes, we are running the race, but the best part about it is that our loving Father provides all we need to run patiently and successfully. While we keep our focus on Him, we will not stumble.



      • Freedomborn says:

        Amen, and when we have the mind of Christ we will never Stumble because our focus will always be on Him.

        Thank you Angela and God Bless you greatly – Love you in Christ Jesus Anne.


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