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Canada’s Rory Linkletter leaves NAZ Elite

Canada's second-fastest marathoner of 2021 announced that he is leaving the Flagstaff-based group

Three weeks after running a two-second personal best of 2:12:52 at the California International Marathon, Canada’s Rory Linkletter announced on Instagram that he is leaving the HOKA NAZ Elite team.

Dylan Wykes ad Rory Linkletter before STWM 2019 start. Photo: Maxine Gravina

After three years with the team, Linkletter becomes the fourth athlete to separate from the Flagstaff, Ariz., based track club this month. Joining athletes Scott Smith (retired), Sid Vaughan (cut due to injury) and 2:09 marathoner Scott Fauble.

Canada’s Rory Linkletter second at California International Marathon

Linkletter has run 2:12 on two separate occasions – this past month at the California International Marathon and at The Marathon Project in Chandler, Ariz., December of 2020.

“Change is never easy. This year was filled with a lot of changes…ones that have led me to make some incredibly difficult decisions,” Linkletter said via Instagram. “I have decided to change the direction of my training situation”

Coach of NAZ Elite, Ben Rosario had this to say about Linkletter and Fauble in his press release: “I spoke with each Rory and Scott individually over the last couple of weeks and as they say, what’s said inside the building stays inside the building,” Rosario said. “So sorry if anyone wanted anything gossipy. I can tell you this though, change can be good. Did I want these guys to leave? No. Of course not.”

Although it has not been announced where Linkletter will train, he will be looking for the world’s marathon qualifying standard of 2:11:30 this spring. Linkletter has personal bests of 1:01:44 for half and 28:12.42 over 10,000m.

NAZ Elite team takes the win at inaugural Michigan Pro Ekiden

There are two global competitions that Linkletter will have his eyes on to qualify for in 2022. The World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Ore., and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, U.K., both of which are to take place in July-August 2022.