“I feel that every time I step on the line — like I have nothing to lose. And I get that question a lot: ‘Do you feel a lot of pressure now that you’re the American record holder?’ No. I feel no pressure. No one thought I was going to get the American record, and no one thinks I’m probably going to go any further. I just feel a lot of support. So yeah, I kind of just felt like I’m playing with house money.“
Keira D’Amato is the fastest — and funniest — marathoner in the country. And three weeks ago, the American record holder in the marathon got a phone call that changed everything. She had just run — and won — the B.A.A. 10K, and was planning her fall marathon schedule. But plans changed, quickly, and she learned that a spot had opened up on Team USA for the upcoming World Athletics Championships marathon in Eugene, OR. The spot was hers if she wanted it, which she knew immediately that she did. In this conversation — recorded just a few days post-race in Eugene — Keira talks about getting that call two weeks before race day. She talks about her prep, about how she felt on race day, and about what the race itself was like. And in true Keira fashion, she showed up to record with a trick up her sleeve: a plan to take over the Ali on the Run Show. (Don’t worry, I let her turn the tables on me, and then spun them right back around to hear all about her eighth-place finish at the marathon.) Plus, her kids’ reactions to her making the team, her dance cam debut, and that oh-so-memorable finish line moment with Team USA teammates Emma Bates and Sara Hall.
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What you’ll get on this episode:
- Welcome to “Keira on the Run!” (4:30)
- All about Keira’s Wikipedia page and her plans to get a pedicure (17:40)
- On processing the World Championships marathon experience (21:50)
- The inside scoop on the Team USA group text (23:00)
- On being the marathon team “sausage,” and what it was like getting the call to join Team USA (24:15)
- What happened after saying “yes” (30:30)
- Nothing to lose, or everything to prove? (36:00)
- How Keira’s kids reacted to her news about joining Team USA (37:25)
- How Keira felt leading up to the race (39:50)
- Keira’s conversations with Emma Bates and Sara Hall before the race (45:15)
- All about that finish line moment (49:00)
- Keira on the dance cam! (57:30)
- What went down after the race (1:00:25)
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