Rachel Cliff takes down Lanni Marchant’s national half-marathon record

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File photo. Rachel Cliff at Pioneer 8K in Victoria, BC. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

Vancouver’s Rachel Cliff took the Canadian Half Marathon record Saturday in Woodlands, Texas while winning the Woodland’s Half Marathon event.

She finished the 21.1-kilometre race in the time of 1:10:08, lopping 39 seconds off of Lanni Marchant’s record of 1:10:47 that she set in 2014 at the Tom King Classic in Nashville, TN. Marchant is from London, ON, but currently lives in Chattanooga, TN.

Marchant also owns the national marathon record from her 2013 run in Toronto, when she broke the tape at 2:28:00.

Cliff improved upon her own personal best of 1:11:52, which she set at the Chevron Houston Half Marathon on January 14 this year.

Cliff will be representing Canada in the 10,000m distance at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games April 4-15.

Cliff joined the BC Endurance Project in 2017 and is coached by Richard Lee. Via social media she thanked the BC Endurance Project as well as husband Chris Winter, who is a retired international middle and long-distance runner.

The qualification standard for Canadian athletes to compete in the 2018 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships is 1:16:00. The event will take place on Sunday, March 24 in Valencia, Spain. Canada’s two fastest half marathon runners, Cliff and Natasha Wodak will not be competing in the event due to time constraints between the championships and the Commonwealth Games.

Florence Kiplagat of Kenya currently owns the world record with her performance of 1:05:09 from the 2015 Barcelona Half Marathon.