A 37-Year-Old. A Marring Injury. A Mother of Two Kids. America’s Fastest Female Marathoner - -Keira
By: Kathy Wu
Most successful athletes have started off with a clear and straightforward path for their dream of what to become. But Keira D’Amato, at a matured age of 37, has an unconventional yet impressive career. After suffering a hamstring injury that threw her out of the Olympics along with her responsibility of caring for her two kids, it’s impossible to imagine how such an occupied person was able to become who is now America’s fastest female marathoner.
D’Amato broke her first record during the Houston Marathon with a time of 2 hours 19 minutes 12 seconds, the fastest since 2006. Even after the race, she kept her eyes fixed on the track and thought, I can go faster. Indeed, it wasn’t long after that she broke the American women’s marathon record in January. But in reality, these staggering achievements didn’t come without much adversity.
D’Amato’s husband, Tony D’Amato, was whisked across the country for Air National Guard (ANG) training, leaving her to care for her two children, her eldest son Thomas who was only two, and her second child, Quin, a newborn. Being left with two kids and a difficult dream to chase, it felt too overwhelming. In addition, it was discovered that two bones in her left foot were displaced and required surgery with insurance she could not afford. With no other choice, D’Amato worked for mortgage company Freddie Mac and became a realtor for the next eight years. Once the surgery was completed in 2009, she immediately went back to chasing her dream. “In a way, it just feels like this is my fun thing,” she says. “It’s my hobby. Some people are in book clubs. Some people collect stamps or coins. This is what I do.”
Not only is D’Amato an excellent runner, but also a positive influence and role model for moms who want to chase their dreams. In addition, she serves great inspiration for people who feel there is too much adversity, as she has overcome it herself.
Scott Raczko, D’Amato’s former track coach, clocks the first portion of her morning workout. The coach praises her on clocking faster than he called for, and she quips that he is “taking it [too] easy.” After a breathtaking 400-meter, D’Amato is given a 45 second rest. It has only been 43 when she starts to run, and we can only expect such passion from this marathon superwoman.