If you want the “full version” of the D’Amato Story, you’ll have to join us on a long run. For now, we will leave you with the cliff notes:
Anthony, a graduate of Midlothian H.S. (go Trojans!), and Keira met at a high school running camp… and this is where our wild adventure begins. Anthony quickly impressed Keira with his depth of shoe knowledge during his apprenticeship at Midlothian’s former marquee running store: Runner Bill’s Sports. While at Runner Bill’s, Anthony studied under the tutelage of Bill Lis with hopes and dreams of owning his own running store. Meanwhile, Keira knew nothing about shoes other than she needed to double-knot them before a run, but she too was always drawn to running stores for the community and access to group runs.
For the next ten years, Anthony and Keira’s relationship was forged and strengthened through running: meeting up at a race here, going for a run there. Anthony ran for the Air Force Academy in college, while Keira ran for American University. After their college/post-collegiate careers were over, the two knuckleheads finally realized their relationship was more than running and lame jokes, so they married.
On the morning of their wedding, they and 100 wedding guests participated in a 5k hosted by Potomac River Running; Keira worked at PR as the Director of Marketing, her “dream job.” At this point in their lives, Anthony and Keira were no longer competitive runners; they had learned to love running for other reasons. So they ran, jogged, and walked. :)
Anthony took to marathons early in their marriage. Keira also tried one and hated the experience; she convinced herself that the marathon wasn’t for her, but she loved traveling and cheering for Anthony while he ran: Missoula, Boston, Pittsburgh, Ventura, and Boston again. Keira was thankful to be enjoying the distance from the sidelines. However, after two kids, she decided to try the marathon (again) with Anthony and registered them both at the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach. The race wasn’t as bad as she remembered, so she ran the Richmond Marathon that same year and finished 2 minutes behind the Olympic Trials Qualifying Standard. The Richmond Marathon is where the fire was lit and the legend of “Round 2” was born.
After setting the women's marathon American Record, Keira and Anthony knew it was time to give back to the Richmond community and start a running store of their own. A place for running gurus to nerd out, new runners/walkers to find a start, and former runners to kickstart their own “round 2”!
Running has given the D’Amato Family an incredible amount of joy and happiness. They are reminded that success in the sport takes a village. It’s about time they plant a running store in that village.