Five elite runners lined up for an all-female race called the Up Dawg 10-Miler in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday morning. Keira D’Amato won the race in 51:23 to break the American women-only 10-mile record by 49 seconds, crossing the line ahead of Molly Seidel, who finished in second place in 53:36. D’Amato has had an incredible 2020 season, which started with PBs at the Houston Half-Marathon (where she finished in 20th in 1:10:01) and the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials (15th place in 2:34:24), followed by a 15:04 5K time trial in June and now an American record. Even with all these accomplishments, she still has one race to go before the end of the year, as she’s set to race the much-anticipated Marathon Project on December 20.
— Chris Chavez (@ChrisChavez) November 24, 2020
An American record
The race was billed as an official record attempt, with the runners chasing the women-only American 10-mile record. Molly Huddle owns the mixed American record, which she set at the Houston Half-Marathon in 2018 when she ran a 50:52 (en route to the national half-marathon record of 1:07:25). Seidel finished in second place at the U.S. Marathon Trials, seven minutes ahead of D’Amato, but the roles were reversed on Tuesday, and this time it was D’Amato crossing the line first.
Early in the race, D’Amato pulled away from Seidel and the other three women, and she ran solo for most of the 16K. This didn’t seem to affect her too much, and she powered forward, averaging 3:12 per kilometre throughout the race. She crossed the line close to a minute ahead of Janet Bawcom‘s previous record of 52:12 from 2014. By the end, D’Amato had widened the gap between her and the rest of the field considerably, finishing more than two minutes ahead of Seidel, who also ran a PB for the distance. Third place went to Emily Durgin in a PB of 54:03.
A stellar year
D’Amato has truly had the season of her life, all the while balancing her work as a real estate agent and home life as a mother of two. She has raced six times in 2020, winning four of those events. She followed her June 5K PB up with a 10,000m race in July, which she won in 32:33.44. In October, she won the Michigan Pro Half-Marathon in 1:08:57, smashing her PB from Houston earlier in the year.
Finally, she won a 5K road race in Tennessee, setting yet another PB, this time in 15:08, before running to her American record on Tuesday. The field for the Marathon Project is stacked, and while it might be tough for D’Amato to continue her winning streak there, she’ll have plenty of elite competitors to work with throughout the race, so it shouldn’t be a surprise if she manages to set yet another PB in less than a month.