Virginia-based Keira D’Amato managed to knock 13 seconds off Emily Sisson’s half marathon record on Saturday, running 1:06:13 at Australia’s Gold Coast Marathon. The two American distance champs seem to be in a record-breaking duel, with 38-year-old D’Amato previously holding the American marathon record in the marathon (2:19:12 at the 2022 Houston Marathon), until Sisson ran 2 :18:29 to capture it at the 2022 Chicago Marathon.
congratulations @KeiraDAmato on breaking the US women’s half marathon record today! It’s awesome to be a part of this era of US women’s distance running where records are continuously improving. Especially impressive considering your travel—enjoy the moment Keira 😊
—Emily Sisson (@Em_Sisson) June 30, 2023
For now (at least in the half marathon), D’Amato is on top, pulling off a speedy time despite a grueling even longer-than-usual journey to Australia. After a problem with air-traffic control delayed flights in Washington early last week, D’Amato was forced to leave several days late, land didn’t land in Australia until Thursday, two days later than planned. She had only two days to adjust to the 14-hour time difference and get race-ready.
Happy to have finally made it to the race, Sisson told The Washington Post that she “didn’t feel awesome” while running, and had checked her watch but merely noted that she was running on pace. D’Amato, a four-time all-American who returned to racing competitively in 2016 after a ten-year hiatus, broke both the course record at the event and set the US record – particularly thrilling because earlier in the week she had doubted if she’d even be able to compete.
On Sunday morning in Australia, D’Amato was already back to training for her next event – racing in the marathon at the world championships in Budapest this August, where she’ll have her sights set on taking back that American record.