After a decorated career as an All-American runner in college, Keira D'Amato retired from running and had spent the better part of the decade pursuing a normal life as a wife and mother. But at 37, she has now become a common woman doing uncommon things, as she has demonstrated that she still has it in a major way.
Keira D'Amato became the fastest American woman to run a marathon at the Chevron Houston Marathon on Sunday, recording a time of 2:19:12 to beat her competition by over ten minutes. D'Amato broke a record that had been set by Deena Kastor, whose time of 2:20:36 had stood since 2006.
A former All-American runner at American University, D'Amato had left an athletic career behind after nagging injuries, instead pursuing a career as a real estate agent after getting married and having two children. But after signing her husband Anthony up for a Virginia Beach marathon as a joke Christmas present in 2017, D'Amato began to run once again on her own after helping her husband train.
According to a report by Dale Robertson of the Houston Chronicle, D'Amato went on to begin running again and signed on with Nike in 2020, with the strict stipulation that her personal life -- specifically her family life, her real estate career and her home in Virginia -- continue unaltered. And it paid off in Houston, as D'Amato called seeing her family at the finish line "one of the happiest moments of my life."
"I don't think I'll be able to find the right words to explain how I'm feeling right now," D'Amato said. "I've had a unique running career. … I came back as a hobby jogger, then I got a second opportunity. I've only been running professionally for about a year and a half. I don't know what to say."
D'Amato spent much of the early portion of the race battling with Biruktayit Eshetu Degefa of Ethiopia, but Degefa began to fall back past the halfway point before dropping out at the 23-mile mark for undisclosed reasons. Alice Wright of Great Britain finished second, followed by former NCAA 3,000-meter champion Maggie Montoya in third.