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Richmond runner heads to Hungary for World Champs

Midlothian-based runner Keira D’Amato races against the best in the world at marathon championships

An excited Keira D'Amato, wearing a racing kit and neon green shoes, crosses the finish line of the 2022 World championship marathon, to be embraced by her teammates Sarah Hall and Emma Bates.

Keira ran with Team USA in 2022, placing eighth after short notice to train| Photo by @janemonti.26.2

A local legend will represent the US this weekend at the World Track & Field Championships. Keira D’Amato, a pro runner for Nike who lives and trains in Midlothian, is heading to Budapest to race a marathon against the world’s best.

Keira made history in 2022 when she ran 2:19:12 — that’s 5:19 per mile — in Houston, breaking a record that stood for 16 years. This past June, she ran a 66:37 half marathon (5:05 pace) in Australia for another American Record. Last year, she finished eighth at the World Championships despite having only two weeks notice to train.

RICtoday_KeiraDAmato_HalfMarathonRecord_FinishLine

Keira D’Amato broke the US women’s half marathon record by 13 seconds in June 2023.

Photo by Casey Sims

Keira’s choice to stay in Richmond to train makes her something of an anomaly in the pro running world. Though great runners come from all over, a lot of them choose to spend the peaks of their careers training in high-altitude towns like Boulder, CO, or Flagstaff, AZ. The River City, by comparison, is an unusual choice.

“Richmond is probably the friendliest running city in the world,” she said in 2022. “They have no idea who I am, but they’re just cheering for someone out there running. It’s just a really supportive place to be.”

It’s clear Keira enjoys being Richmond’s lead representative in the world of elite running. In addition to living, training, and raising two kids here, she opened a running store, PR Run & Walk, in Midlothian in 2022.

The women’s marathon will begin Saturday, Aug. 26, at 7 a.m. Budapest time, which is 1 a.m. here in Richmond. If that’s too early (or if you just love puns), you can keep up with Keira on Strava.

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