America’s Fastest Female Marathoner Is a 37-Year-Old Mother
By: Zhile Chen
In Richmond, Keira D’Amato, the fastest female marathoner in America, is practicing in an unusual training place: the track at St. Christopher’s school. However, D’Amato has had plenty of unusual things happen to her. This was just another unusual thing in her unusual life, like breaking a record as a mother of two after being forced to stop running for 14 years because of an injury.
D’Amato has many more goals to complete, like competing in the Olympics or representing the U.S as a track member. But she will not dedicate everything she has to accomplish it. There is a reason why she is not making track her full-time job and why she is still running in the track at St. Christopher’s.
D’Amato’s sport career began in a running camp in high school where she met her husband, Tony. After D’Amato finished high school, she decided to try running full time. She joined a professional track team called DC Elite.
Unfortunately, two bones in her left foot were connected in a way they shouldn’t have been. If she wanted to continue running, she would need to have surgery. She didn’t have the money, forcing D’Amato to retire and become a realtor to earn money. When she got her foot surgery in 2009, she was so content with her current life that she decided not to continue running.
Then in 2017, she had to take care of her children alone most of the time because her husband Tony was often deployed or going through military training. However, whenever she had the free time, she would practice running as a hobby.
Later in 2017, she finished the Richmond Marathon at 2 hours and 47 minutes, which was only two minutes away from qualifying in the Olympics. This motivated her to consider becoming a part time athlete. She called her old coach, Raczko, to help her find out just how fast she could run.
She found out that she could run really quickly. She increased her speed rapidly. When she ran in the Olympic trials of February 2020, she came in 15th place with a time of 2:34:24. Another notable achievement she did was breaking the U.S. women 10-mile record by almost a minute with her time of 51:23.
But while D’Amato does want to achieve more, she doesn’t want to completely change her life just to fulfill her goals. She would rather fail.
However, D’Amato’s hard work paid off. She was invited to participate in the World Championships on behalf of the U.S.
While it was unexpected, with little time to prepare for it, D’Amato has taken up the offer. She will train hard to prepare for racing against many of the best runners. In her training, she will surpass expectations, resting a couple seconds less than necessary.
Source: The Washington Post She’s 37. A mom of two. And America’s fastest female marathoner.