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Sports: Rory Linkletter takes down 23-year-old Canadian men's half-marathon record

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Calgary-born Rory Linkletter, right, completed the Houston half-marathon in 61 minutes eight seconds on Sunday to shatter Jeff Schiebler's Canadian record that stood since Jan. 15, 1999. Ben Flanagan, middle, of Kitchener, Ont., ran 1:01:30 while Texas-based Canadian Calum Neff, left, was 28th (2:19:33) in Sunday's marathon. © Submitted by Ben Flanagan Calgary-born Rory Linkletter, right, completed the Houston half-marathon in 61 minutes eight seconds on Sunday to shatter Jeff Schiebler's Canadian record that stood since Jan. 15, 1999. Ben Flanagan, middle, of Kitchener, Ont., ran 1:01:30 while Texas-based Canadian Calum Neff, left, was 28th (2:19:33) in Sunday's marathon.

New year, new coach, new half-marathon personal best and a Canadian record for Rory Linkletter.

The Calgary-born runner crossed the finish line eighth in 61 minutes eight seconds on Sunday in Houston to eclipse Jeff Schiebler's 61:28 performance from Jan. 15, 1999 in Tokyo.

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"Beyond stoken," the 25-year-old Linkletter wrote to his Twitter account on the heels of his 2:12:52 PB in the California International Marathon on Dec. 5 in Sacramento.

Milkesa Tolosa of Ethiopia won the race in 1:00.24, followed by Kenya's John Korir (1:00:27) and Wilfred Kimitei of Great Britain (1:00:44).

Ben Flanagan of Kitchener, Ont., who recently departed Reebok Boston Track Club after three-plus years for On Running, also set a PB in Sunday's race, stopping the clock in 1:01:38 for a 12th-place finish among 5,174 men's participants.


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In December, HOKA released Linkletter from his contract and he left the Northern Arizona (NAZ) Elite track club after joining in 2019.

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"I felt like there was a disconnect between the training I was putting in and th results … it was just this succession of underwhelming performances," he told letsrun.com in December.

Sara Hall sets U.S. women's mark

At age 6, Linkletter moved with his family to the United States of which he became a citizen in 2020.

Linkletter's previous half-marathon PB of 1:01:44 was also achieved in Houston on Jan. 19, 2020.

The unsponsored athlete is now coached by retired professional runner and U.S. marathon record-holder Ryan Hall, whose wife Sara placed second in Sunday's women's race in 1:07:15 to beat Molly Huddle's 1:07:25 national mark.

Hall is also the second-fastest U.S. marathoner with a 2:20:32 run in The Marathon Project in December 2020 in Chandler, Ariz.

Emily Setlack of Kingston, Ont., was 20th in Sunday's women's race in 1:12:48 that attracted 6,151 runners.Her effort was just over one minute behind her 1:11:40 PB, set two years ago in Houston.

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