This week’s guest is two-time American record holder Keira D’Amato, fresh off a runner-up finish at the U.S. 25k championships in Grand Rapids, MI. Keira has personal bests of 1:07:55 for a half marathon and 2:19:12 for the marathon, breaking the 16-year-old American record in the marathon in January.
For those of you who don’t know, Keira has an incredible personal story, as a mom and realtor who walked away from the sport for nearly a decade before coming back to the sport in her mid-30s and running faster than ever before, going from racing local road races for fun to becoming one of Nike’s top pros.
We covered a lot of really interesting ground, including the hesitation to turn pro, the value of authenticity, and how much life has changed in the last few years. We also cleared up some funny rumors from the 25K champs and Keira explained why she’s not racing the 10,000m national championships at Pre. Of course, we also got into binge-watching, beer miles, and hot takes on donuts.
This episode is brought to you by Hayward Magic and the CITIUS Mag Summer of Hayward. As we get closer and closer to the national and world championships in Eugene, there will be so many fun storylines to follow and athletes to root for, and the CITIUS Mag team will be there every step of the way. Learn more at citiusmag.com/summerofhayward.
On choosing to race roads over the 10,000m championships:
“I try to keep an open mind to the track, and it takes me one 10k race a year to be like, ‘nope.’ The roads are way more fun, and with running, it’s always about having fun for me. As soon as I’m not having fun, I’m out.”
On why Keira has so many new fans:
“I think what resonates with people is that I quit. For 8-10 years, I was just a spectator. And then I thought ‘what if?’ What would happen, what could’ve happened, what could still happen? A lot of us have those ‘what ifs,’ and it means something to people seeing me go for it where that took me.”
On running for fun:
“I’m having fun with it, and I think people see that. Some people can do really well taking it really seriously, and other people like me are kind of anxious already, so when I lean into the fun aspect and do things that excite me, I can get the best out of myself.”
On reaching her athletic peak in her 30s:
“I’ve never believed the whole getting old stuff. Forty years ago, women weren’t allowed to do a full marathon, you know? We’ve made a lot of progress and we’re still making progress.”