Runner Keira D’Amato broke the American record in the women’s marathon this weekend. The 37-year-old mother of two ran the Houston Marathon in two hours, 19 minutes and 12 seconds, beating the previous record set in 2006.
D’Amato said on Instagram that she was feeling “confused, pumped, exhausted, proud, in disbelief, sore, more confusion, excited” after her record-breaking race.
“I could list the roller coaster of emotions for days… but the thought I keep coming back to is how proud I am that I found the courage to give running a shot again and attempt to tackle all this ‘unfinished business,'” she wrote. “Goals, similar to marathons, can be scary as crap… but again, with a little help from my friends, we had the courage to try.”
Two years ago, she told CBS Richmond affiliate WTVR that while she ran competitively in college, having two children and moving multiple times because of her husband’s job put running on the back burner. However, she discovered she still had a passion for the sport while trying to get back into shape.
She competed in middle-distance running for American University more than a decade ago, but picked up her running shoes seriously once again in 2017, completing a marathon in Virginia in over three hours, according to NBC Sports. Since then, she has received a sponsorship from Nike and finished 15th in the U.S. Olympic team trials marathon in 2020.
On Sunday, she dropped her Virginia time by almost an hour.
During the same event in Houston, Sara Hall, another mom, broke the American record in the half marathon, setting a new time of one hour, 17 minutes and 15 seconds.