Meet Keira D’Amato, the 37-year-old realtor who wants to take home a marathon medal for Team USA

“I think on my ‘first lap’ I felt so much pressure. I was really nervous to race and felt like I had so much to lose it was almost crippling,” says- her.” This time, coming in as a parent without anyone expecting anything from me was really liberating. It was rather nice to be free, in that sense.

In his early twenties, D’Amato says running was all-encompassing. Now, after workouts, she goes into mom mode or work mode. She jokes that her kids and clients don’t care if she made it or fucked that day. It gave him some necessary perspective for a sport that can naturally feel like the be all and end all.

“Everyone has bad days,” D’Amato says. “I have a lot of bad days. I try to treat practices like races and I take them really, really seriously. But sometimes you don’t feel it or the weather isn’t good, and you just have to learn and move on. And it’s been easier for me with the kids and with work because I have to change my mindset as soon as I get off the track.

As the D’Amato star rose, it took the full support of her family to make it all work. Her husband, she says, is sacrificing his training time so she can get hers. And flexibility is essential for everything to run smoothly.

One thing that is rigid? What D’Amato calls the “golden hours” she spends with her children: in the morning before school and in the evening before bedtime. She prioritizes this time over training and work.

“I really protect this weather,” she says. “I consider it ‘don’t mess with me during this time unless it’s a special circumstance. I’m not used to gnawing that time.

After that top priority, real estate or running filters based on the day, she says. “It takes a village, and I’m asking for a lot of help with my family and my support system.”

A boost to the future

Expectations are high as the World Championships approach, both for D’Amato and for the American team in general. At the start line, D’Amato will join fellow US team runners Emma Bates and Sara Hall, who finished second and third, respectively, at the 2021 Chicago Marathon — and they hope to keep Team USA’s marathon momentum going. At the Tokyo Olympics last summer, Molly Seidel won the bronze medal, becoming the third American to win an Olympic marathon medal.

“Molly has absolutely improved American distance running. I think it showed others what’s possible,” D’Amato says. “Coming into this world championship, I think the three of us were thinking, ‘If Molly can do this, maybe I can do this.'”

Team USA’s roster recognizes another subtle but growing trend in sports: that women can run their best marathons well into their 30s and after becoming moms. At 39, Hall is also balancing his training with raising four young children, and Eugene will also be his first time representing the United States at Worlds.

About Martin Aaron

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