Earlier this thirty day period, the American distance runner Keira D’Amato introduced on Instagram that she had signed with Nike. At very first look, this may possibly not look notably noteworthy. By any measure, D’Amato had a breakout calendar year in 2020. In a extraordinary screen of variety, she ran a 15:04 5K time demo in June and a 2:22:56 marathon at the Marathon Project race last December—both massive own bests that, for context, are perfectly inside of the tough Olympic qualifying criteria. In November, at the Up Dawg Ten Miler in Washington D.C. D’Amato ran 51:23—an American file for a women’s-only ten mile race. No question Nike was interested.
But what sets her aside from athletes like Sara Corridor and Aliphine Tuliamuk, the two of whom also had standout performances in 2020, is that D’Amato was competing as an novice. Now 36, D’Amato has a total-time occupation as a