courtesy @keiradamato on Twitter

Keira D’Amato breaks the American women’s marathon record

After taking five years off of running, D’Amato comes back to break a marathon record, discusses sports editor Callie Hummel.

On Jan. 16 at the Houston Marathon, Keira D’Amato came back from her seven-year break from running to break the US women’s marathon record with a two hour, 19 minute and 12 second time. Her time beat the previous record, set in place in 2006, by 24 seconds.

The record came as a shock to most of the running community, as D’Amato wasn’t in the public eye like many other runners gunning for the record since the last one was beaten. She also only picked up running again five years ago, and although she was an All-American runner at the Division I American University, D’Amato took seven years off of running after graduation. An injury that she didn’t have the money to get surgery for, wanting to get married and having kids won out over running for those seven years.

D’Amato’s husband, who she met at a running camp in high school, continued to run over the years, eventually leading D’Amato back into the sport. At this point in her life, D’Amato had found success in her real estate career and had the funds to get the surgery she previously couldn’t. So when she bought her husband a marathon entry ticket, she agreed to go on his training runs with him for the company. Unfortunately, he was deployed before he was able to compete, however D’Amato continued to run by herself, adding more and more distance.

Five years later, she became one of the only two American women to have broken the 2:20:00 marathon barrier at 37 years old. Breaking this time barrier meant that D’Amato ran 26.2 miles with a 5:18 pace per mile. However, after the race, she promptly told a reporter, “I finished that race thinking that I could run faster since I never really hit a wall. It felt really smooth. And marathons never really feel smooth.”

There aren’t many times that people cross the finish line of a marathon, especially keeping the pace that D’Amato did, and reveal that they believe they could have run faster. Even though she took those seven years off from running, it’s obvious that the time off didn’t affect her endurance or talent in the long run.

When D’Amato had to quit post-college due to an injury, she always felt like she had unfinished business. Her new record is definitely helping to finally complete that business, but she says that just being able to run happily every again day is enough for her.

However, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have big goals for her future running career. After her success during the Houston Marathon, D’Amato is continuing her training for the love of running, but also has her eyes set on the 2024 Olympics in Paris. She’ll spend the next two years training to qualify for the marathon event and hopefully compete against other women around the world in the Summer Games. While she is actively and vocally chasing the Olympics, D’Amato reveals that whether she qualifies or not, she’s happy with where she is in running.

Post Author: Callie Hummel