Leg issue forces Canadian Rory Linkletter to pull out of next month's London Marathon
Rory Linkletter will have to wait at least a year to make his London Marathon debut.
The Calgary-born athlete has withdrawn from the April 23 race due to an issue with his IT (iliotibial) band, a thick band of fibrous tissue that runs on the outside of the leg.
"Two weeks ago, an IT band issue flared up, I took a couple days off and it seemed to calm down," Linkletter wrote on Instagram over the weekend. "However, after [the March 19 New York City Half Marathon] things really locked up on me.
"I respect the marathon too much to attempt to run it hobbled, and I need to prioritize my long-term health with the [2024 Paris] Olympic Games on the horizon."
The 26-year-old placed 15th over 21.1 kilometres in the elite men's field in one hour four minutes 21 seconds.
"I wasn't my best [in New York] Linkletter said in an Instagram post shortly after the race. "Had loads of fun mixing it up with the best for the first 15K but went into survival mode with 5K to go.
"I feel like I've been doing my best and trending [in] the right direction in training."
I'll do everything I can to get back to 100 per cent for some late spring/summer racing. — Canadian runner Rory Linkletter on his leg injury
In January 2022, Linkletter set a then-Canadian record of 1:01:08 in Houston that Ben Flanagan lowered to 1:01:00 last October.
Last month, Cam Levins ran 1:00:18 in Vancouver, three weeks before lowering his national mark in the marathon to 2:05:36 in Tokyo, setting a North American record.
"I'm sad because I love to run and was looking forward to testing myself in London," Linkletter said. "I'll do everything I can to get back to 100 per cent for some late spring/summer racing."
4th full pro season
It has already been a tough year on Linkletter's health. He pulled out of the Houston Half Marathon in January after being "riddled with illness" in December.
"I'm thankful for my entire support team for backing me through these tough times," said Linkletter, who's in his fourth full professional season.
Last October, he was second among the elite Canadian men in the Toronto Waterfront Marathon where he stopped the clock in 2:13:32 in his sixth career race at the 42.2 km distance. It was three minutes off his 2:10:24 personal best from the World Athletics Championships last July in Eugene, Ore.
Linkletter moved from Canada to the United States at age six and became a U.S. citizen three years ago. He holds dual citizenship.
Coached by American marathon record holder Ryan Hall, he starred for five years at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, where Linkletter earned six All-American citations.
He first represented Canada internationally at the world cross-country championships in 2015.
Vancouver resident Natasha Wodak is the lone elite Canadian runner to race in England, her first London Marathon.
The two-time Olympian fought the cold and wind in New York to finish eighth among women in the half marathon in 1:12:33, nearly three minutes off her 1:09:41 best.
Wodak ran 2:23:12 in the Berlin Marathon last September to lower Malindi Elmore's previous Canadian mark of 2:24:50.
In London, one of the six World Marathon Majors, the 41-year-old will attempt the 2:26:50 automatic entry standard for Paris. Ten athletes in the women's field have run sub-2:19:00 and five under 2:18.