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Professional runner Keira D’Amato’s favorite spots for a run in Richmond

The Nike-sponsored marathoner and multi-American record setter broke down her six favorite places to rack up some miles.

Keira DAmato

D’Amato finished eighth at the 2022 World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, just behind her teammates Emma Bates and Sarah Hall.

If you’ve ever been out for a stroll along the James or gone for a jog at Pony Pasture, newsflash — you might have been passed by an American record holder.

Keira D’Amato is a Richmonder, a business owner, and a Nike-sponsored professional distance runner. In the last five years, D’Amato has set American records in the 10 mile (51:23), the half marathon (1:06:39), and the marathon (2:19:12). She ran in both the 2022 and 2023 World Championships, and on Saturday, June 29, she’ll be vying for a spot on the US Olympic team in the 10,000m.

City Editor David here: Keira’s running store, PR RVA, was also my first job out of college. I was PR’s first official hire when they were opening in the summer of 2022 — it’s always fun seeing your old boss set American records.

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

Photo by Casey Sims

In addition to being one of our foremost professional athletes, D’Amato has also championed Richmond as one of the best running cities in the country.

“I’ve run in almost every state,” D’Amato said. “And Richmond is the friendliest place to run.”

After writing about some of our favorite routes for a run or walk around the River City, we reached out to D’Amato to get a professional opinion. Here are her six favorite places to run in the Richmond area.

Pony Pasture/Riverside Drive

D’Amato loves this stretch of road and trail for its varied terrain — one can enjoy dirt trails, flat pavement, and hilly roads in a single run. More than that, however, she appreciates the community of runners, walkers, and cyclists she gets to share to road with.

“You feel like you’re part of something,” D’Amato said.

Pocahontas State Park

D’Amato is frequently asked, “if you could run anywhere in the world, where would you pick?” Her answer? Pocahontas State Park. The rolling hills, soft gravel surfaces, and natural beauty have made this Chesterfield park a staple of her training.

Virginia Capital Trail

Like many Richmond runners, D’Amato frequents the Capital Trail for longer runs, starting at Great Shiplock Park and heading east. Don’t worry — it turns out even 2:19 marathoners dread the massive hill that begins ~1.5 miles in.

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Run, walk, or wheel down the Capital Trail through Rocketts Landing.

Photo by RICtoday

James River Park System Trails

Like so many Richmonders, D’Amato often creates her route by linking up several of the trails that wind around the James. Between the Buttermilk Trail, the North Bank Trail, the Pipeline Trail, the Richmond Slave Trail, the Floodwall Trail, and even more, there are endless combinations to be made.

Powhatan State Park

Speaking of endless trail systems, D’Amato said that Powhatan State Park, ~40 minutes west of the city, is a perfect place to spend an afternoon traversing trails. Whether you’re out for a short hike or your longest run yet, the ample shade and scenery make the park a prime candidate for your next outing.

Byrd Park

Finally, D’Amato says the lakeside paths that wind around Byrd Park are one of her favorite ways within the city to snag some miles.

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