RRW: Keira D’Amato To Make 10-Mile Record Attempt At Micro Race

By David Monti, @d9monti
(c) 2020 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

(26-Oct) — American distance runner Keira D’Amato will attempt to break the national record for 10 miles in an all-women’s competition at a specially-arranged micro race in the Washington, D.C., area on Monday, November 23.  The record, 52:12, was set by Janet Bawcom at the 2014 Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Miler in 2014.

Keira D’Amato finishing the 2020 USA Olympic Team Trials Marathon in Atlanta on February 29 (photo courtesy of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Miler)

The micro race, which will adhere to all USA Track & Field standards for both record-setting and anti-COVID protocols, will be directed by Phil Stewart, the longtime race director of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Miler.  D’Amato is a board member of that event and has been thinking of running a fast 10-miler for quite a while.

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“I’ve been thinking about this record since last spring,” said D’Amato, 36, through a statement.  “I was relaying information to Molly Huddle about her upcoming appearance at the Cherry Blossom Health & Fitness Expo and, while encouraging her to go after Janet Bawcom’s record, I did the math and was struck by one very clear thought: I can run that fast!  That same thought has kept me motivated and training hard over the past six months.  I can’t wait to lay it all on the line on November 23.”

Stewart expects a total of 10 to 20 women to compete at what will be an undisclosed location to reduce crowds (participation will be by invitation, only).  He’s excited to direct this event after having to cancel his own race last April due to the pandemic.

“When Keira asked me to help organize a record attempt for her, I didn’t hesitate for a moment,” Stewart said through a statement.  “Keira has been running very well throughout this time of COVID-19, and everyone involved in the project is excited by the opportunity to do what the coronavirus prevented us from doing last spring: produce a first-class, record-fast road race. For us all, this is definitely a bright spot in what has mostly been a dreary spring, summer and fall.”

D’Amato, née Carlstrom, ran collegiately for American University last competing in 2008. Her best event was the mile, setting a personal best of 4:38.74.  Remarkably, she took a ten-year break from competitive running during which she had two children with her husband Anthony.  She didn’t return to the sport until 2017 when she won the Richmond Marathon in a modest 2:47:00, but that was only the beginning of her second act.  She dropped her marathon personal best to 2:34:55 in Berlin in 2019, and finished 15th at last February’s USA Olympic Trials Marathon in 2:34:24, another personal best.

At last January’s Aramco Houston Half-Marathon D’Amato ran a personal best 1:10:01 in her Trials tune-up race.  In that event, she passed through 10 miles in 53:23, her unofficial personal best for the distance.  That, plus her 32:33.44 10,000m personal best last July, show that she has a good chance at making the record.

“I’m the fittest I’ve ever been,” D’Amato concluded.  “I know I’m capable of running faster than current record, and I’ll have a chance to prove it on race day. If it happens, I’ll have an American Record. If it doesn’t happen, I’ll be in the same spot I am now: wanting that record.  It’s liberating to know I have nothing to lose, but a record to gain.”