By: Alicia Chen
Record, and at the same time been a mom of two. When she was younger, D’Amato was forced to quit running because of a foot surgery. But she “accidentally” started running again, even faster than she was before.
D’Amato lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband and two children, Thomas, aged seven, (who has recently requested to be called his real name instead of Tommy) and Quin, aged five. Her name is spelled with one “n” instead of two because both Kiera and Tony (ger husband) agree that it’ll allow her to be twenty percent more efficient.
Even though D’Amato is a marathon runner and a track record breaker, she still lives a normal and somewhat relaxed life compared to some other athletes.
Five years ago, she got into running again. At that time, Tony was flying lots of places for Air National Guard Training. D’Amato was lucky that he wasn’t across seas yet and could help her a bit. Still, she was stressed and tired. Tommy was barely two, and Quin was just born.
Sometimes, she would let her mother-in-law help her take care of the kids. D’Amato would use this time to run.
D’Amato said, “In a way, this just feels like my fun thing,” she said. “It’s my hobby. Some people are in book clubs. Some people collect stamps or coins. This is what I do.
She started running marathons when she signed her husband up for the Shamrock Marathon at Virginia Beach as a Christmas gift and a prank. Later, she felt bad for doing this and signed herself up as well.
At that time, she started training, and achieved a time of 3:14:54. She kept running and crushed her personal records. In 2017 in the Richmond Marathon, she clocked a time of 2:47:00, just too minutes shy of the 2020 Olympic trials qualifying mark.
That was the spark that ignited her burning passion for running. She really wanted to know what her limits were, how high she could reach. So, she called her former coach, Raczko.
Raczko admitted that Kiera was even better that when she was younger.
“I don’t even know if she had the capability to do this when she was younger.” He pauses. “Well, she didn’t.”
Now, the goals of getting into the Olympics aren’t just a blind goal that seemed so far away it had the tendency to seem impossible. Now, this goal is just at her fingertips, ready to be snatched.