Virginia mom Keira D'Amato breaks American women's record at Houston Marathon

Keira D'Amato
Posted at 6:17 PM, Jan 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-16 21:06:19-05

HOUSTON —Keira D’Amato set a new American Marathon record with her time of 2:19.12 in the Chevron Houston Marathon Sunday.

The Midlothian mother of two topped the previous women’s mark of 2:19:36 set by Deena Kastor in the 2006 London Marathon.

"I’ve never won a marathon before, so that’s a big goal of mine," D'Amato said in a December interview with Women's Running Magazine."Right now I think I’m in sub-2:22 shape, which is really exciting. I know the American record. I know what that is. If I’m around 2:20 shape, we’ll definitely go for it. If I’m close enough I’ll go for it and see what happens — if everything goes well this month, if I’m in a position where I think that’s a good goal."

Sports Backers P.R. and Communications Manager Pete Woody called D’Amato a fixture in the Richmond running community who has inspired many runners by sharing her journey.

"In November 2021, she set a new course record (24:47) while winning the Allianz Partners 8k, a Sports Backers event that was part of the Richmond Marathon," Woody said. "It is incredible to see Keira doing so well and we look forward to seeing her in more races in Richmond and around the country in the future."

D’Amato, who became a professional runner in early 2021, told CBS 6 Sports Director Lane Casadonte the year beforethat she first got into the sport to impress the soccer coach at Oakton High School in northern Virginia.

But she quickly noticed she had a talent for the solitary sport that demands perseverance and discipline, even if it lets her mind wander.

"On today's run I was thinking a lot about aliens," D'Amato reflected in a 2020 interview."You have a lot of time to soul search and to think about why you're doing this, what you're doing. In college I was a math major and when I was stumped on a proof, I would go out for a run just to clear my mind."

After college, D’Amato continued to run for fun. But after having two children and moving multiple times due to her husband's job, running got pushed into the background. There it stayed, until an old friend asked about her old passion.

"We were sitting on a dock and she said, 'Keira are you ever going to run again?' And I'm like yeah, you know, run for fun. And she said, 'No are you ever really going to get after it again?' And I was like Oh no no. That part of my life is done," she recalled.

Except that it wasn't. After having her children, D’Amato began running again to get back in shape and soon discovered the fire was still there.

D’Amato is a finalist for Female Athlete of the Year in the upcoming RVA Sports Awards. The event on Saturday, Feb. 5 will recognize local athletic achievements and honor those who aim to better the Richmond region through sport.

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