Keira D'Amato celebrates her North American record at the ASICS Half Marathon (© Organisers)
Keira D'Amato clocked 1:06:39 to improve the North American record at the ASICS Half Marathon on the Gold Coast, Australia, on Saturday (1).
Australia’s Brett Robinson retained his title in the men’s half marathon while the Gold Coast Marathon, a World Athletics Label road race, on Sunday (2) was won by Japan’s Naoki Koyama in a men’s course record and Kenya’s Rodah Jepkorir Tanui.
D'Amato lost her North American marathon record to Emily Sisson in October but she turned the tables when racing on the Gold Coast, the 38-year-old improving her own PB by more than a minute to take 13 seconds off the area half marathon record that Sisson set in Houston in January.
After the race an emotional D'Amato gave credit to Australia’s Ben St Lawrence, who paced her to the record.
“I owe so much to Ben, he was so smooth, so consistent, he just did such an amazing job,” said D'Amato, who improved the Australian all-comers’ record with her winning time.
“The race was perfect. It’s super flat, beautiful scenery, the crowds really came out and were so supportive; I just can’t believe this.
“I’m just so thankful to be here and as an American, I can’t believe how many people said ‘go Keira’ on the course and every time I heard that, I just felt so powerful.”
Australians Leanne Pompeani and Ellie Pashley clocked 1:09:07 and 1:09:25 to finish second and third, respectively.
Robinson ran 1:02:16 to win the men’s race after a fierce battle with Japan’s Keijiro Mogi, who finished just four seconds back. New Zealand’s Cameron Avery placed third in a PB of 1:02:50.
Koyama’s course record-breaking PB to win the men’s marathon was 2:07:40 as he beat Kenya’s Ezekiel Kemboi Omullo with 2:08:26 and Australia’s Liam Adams with 2:08:39 - the fastest marathon by an Australian athlete on Australian soil.
Jepkorir Tanui ran 2:27:10 to lead a Kenyan 1-2 in the women’s race as Ruth Chebitok finished second in 2:28:17 and Australia’s Genevieve Gregson, the Oceanian record-holder in the 3000m steeplechase, clocked 2:28:33 for third on her marathon debut.