John Landy Athletics Field is located in Geelong, Victoria. It is named after 1956 Olympic 1500m bronze medalist, John Landy, who was the second man to ever break four minutes for the mile.
Landy was the catalyst for the creation of the track, following a speech made in 1956 at a dinner honouring the region’s Olympic Games representatives. In the presence of local council representatives, Landy made comparisons between the quality of venues overseas with those available in Australia.
Construction of a cinder track commenced in 1961, with the Geelong Guild Athletics Club providing approximately 60% of the funding. Surrounding Geelong councils and shires funded the balance.
The track is also the spiritual home of Little Athletics in Australia, with the movement’s founder Trevor Billingham hosting early Little Athletics meets at the venue in 1964.
Ron Clarke set world records for the 20,000m and one-hour run at the venue in 1965.
The track was formerly known as Riverside Park and sits adjacent to the Barwon River to the south and the Godfrey Hirst carpet factory to the east.
The cinders track was eventually upgraded to a rubberised bitumen surface, which was then replaced with a modern synthetic surface in the 1990s.
The venue is managed by the John Landy Management Committee, and is used regularly for school, Little Athletics and Athletics Victoria Shield competition, while also hosting the annual Steigen Spectacular in December each year.