Book of World Records – Only man to run 13 consecutive personal bests in
Runners Club of America Hall of Fame, inducted 1989
Dick Beardsley is a “running legend,” but perhaps the most amazing thing about him is his climb back to health after becoming addicted to pain medication for more than four years. Dick is best known for his incredible race in the 1982 Boston Marathon. That race, on a very hot day, was dubbed the “Duel in the Sun” as he battled world record holder Alberto Salazar down to the finish line. Both broke the American record: Salazar won in a record time of 2:08:51, Beardsley’s time was 2:08:53! He was at the height of his professional running career.
Then tragedy struck in November 1989. While using an auger to lift corn into a bin on his Minnesota farm, Dick became entangled in the machine; it began to literally tear him apart. Not expected to live or walk—much less ever run again—he managed to survive.But that was just the first of a series of events that would forever change his life. During the next few years, Dick was involved in a severe car accident, later he was hit by a truck while running, later still, he rolled his vehicle in a snowstorm, and finally while hiking one day, the ground gave out and he fell off a cliff! Each time he ended up in the hospital and had multiple surgeries to try and put him back together.
Due to all the large amount of pain medication he was taking, he became addicted—and that’s when his life really started to spiral out of control. It has been a long road back, but today Dick has 11 years of sobriety and has completely turned his life around.He loves running now more than ever.He is a competitive Masters runner (age 51), who completes marathons across the U.S. in less than three hours!He was the 2006 RRCA National Masters Marathon Champion.
In 2002, he authored a book called Staying the Course: A Runner’s Toughest Race.Dick is a captivating motivational and inspirational speaker who visits schools, corporations, and races in cities around the world. He also has a marathon camp and two high school running camps.Dick is a member of Team New Balance. To learn even more about Dick, visit www.dickbeardsley.com.The Dick Beardsley Foundation was recently established to help individuals who cannot afford treatment for chemical dependency. The work of the Foundation allows Dick to travel around the country, talking to children about positive, active lifestyles, and being chemically free. For more information, go towww.dickbeardsleyfoundation.com.
Join us on Saturday May 3, 2008 to celebrate Running the Nation for 50 Years!
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