Keira D’Amato ready to compete in New York City Marathon
“I’m a 38-year-old mother and I just had the best year of my life. You know, most pros race a few times, maybe five [a year],” she said. “I think if I get to the starting line safe and sound in New York, it will be my 14th time racing this year, and for a 38-year-old mom, that’s pretty amazing .”
D’Amato moved up the ranks of the wonderful by successful in Houston in 2 hours 19 minutes 12 seconds, breaking a US report that had stood since 2006. A Richmond realtor, she is now additionally a sponsored skilled runner from Nike.
“I think I competed twice [the number of races] from any of my competitors,” she stated. “I’ve won some really iconic races, I’ve set course records and I feel like overall, my work, this has been my best year ever. But it’s really exciting for me because I see a lot of room for improvement and I think 2023 can be even better.”
After setting the record in Houston, D’Amato won the Boston Athletic Association 10K in June; finished eighth in the World Athletics Championships marathon in Eugene, Ore., in July; broke a 24-year-old course record to win the Washington 20K Championships in New Haven, Conn., in September; and finished sixth as the top American (with a time of 2:21:48) at the Berlin Marathon later that month.
She is a mother of two and one of the fastest female marathoners in America
D’Amato attended high school in Northern Virginia and was a four-time All-American at American University. She joined DC Elite, a professional running team led by Scott Raczko, who coached Alan Webb when he set the US men’s record in the mile in 2007. But her left foot derailed her career. Two bones weren’t connected properly and she needed surgery that her insurance wouldn’t cover, so she went to work for mortgage company Freddie Mac and eventually became a realtor.
For eight years, her focus was elsewhere, until, in 2009, she underwent foot surgery. She tried a marathon in 2013, but told The Washington Post this summer that a “perfect storm of everything that could go wrong in a marathon” made her think 26.2 miles wasn’t for her.
She and her husband, Tony, welcomed son Thomas in 2014 and daughter Quin two years later. Things changed in 2016 when she signed up her husband, also a runner, for the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach, then decided she needed to run it, too. She started training, and races kept following, and her times kept dropping, fueling goals that have come fast and furious: Compete with the world’s best in marquee marathons, represent the United States on a global stage, qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. As one of only two American women with sub-2:20 times, it would also be nice to regain that American record.
“I’ll be honest – is it fun to be the American record holder?” she said. “Hell yeah!”
D’Amato’s record stood until October 10, when Emily Sisson lowered her mark by 43 seconds, winning the Chicago Marathon in 2:18:29 with D’Amato watching. D’Amato joined running royalty and former American marathon record holders Joan Benoit Samuelson and Deena Kastor in Chicago as a spectator. As fun as the record was, she didn’t mind seeing Sisson improve in her time. In addition, it gave her a new target.
The connections of women marathoners in the USA go far beyond the course
“It wasn’t about me that day and I wasn’t going to let someone else having a good day make it a bad day for me,” D’Amato said. “I wasn’t going to let any kind of negative emotion seep in because it had nothing to do with me.
“It has always been about chasing the goal. I scored the goal on my day. I went for it in Berlin and I didn’t achieve that goal. And I knew if I didn’t waste my time, somebody else would, you know?” she stated. “I used to be actually happy with him and I simply thought I performed a component. Now it is her journey, the journey of the American report and pushing it to be much more aggressive on the world stage. I’m very happy with that.”
In addition, “the tide lifts all ships.” I move that bar forward — Emily just moved it forward again,” she stated. “I’m going to have to work even harder now. I love it. I’m going to have to run a sub-2:18, which is my plan anyway. I think it’s a really healthy competition and I think all American women will be better for it.”
D’Amato comes to the tip of the yr with “healthy” legs and “feeling fresher than ever” regardless of coping with a small bug. This, she stated, is her X Factor, though she believes it obtained it out of her system.
The forecast for the New York City Marathon requires a heat, cloudy day with temperatures in the 60s in the morning and in the 70s by midday. D’Amato is okay with regardless of the climate gods carry.
“Bring it on, Mother Nature,” she stated.