History

The Dick Beardsley 1/2 Marathon Run was developed to honor former Detroit Lakes resident and Marathon Legend Dick Beardsley and as a tune-up run for the Twin Cities Marathon.

Dick Beardsley is a compelling motivational/inspirational keynote speaker at Fortune 500 companies, non-profit organizations, conferences, conventions, corporate events, fundraisers, galas, sporting events, prisons, schools and drug treatment centers.

Dick is referred to as a running legend in the United States and 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, finishing 1.6 seconds later, placing second. He was at the height of his professional running career.

In November of 1989, tragedy struck Dick’s life. 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 and difficult road back, but Dick has been celebrating every day of his sobriety since February 12, 1997.

Dick's Life Today

Dick and his wife, Jill, are the Innkeepers and owners of the beautiful Lake Bemidji Bed and Breakfast, www.lakebemidjibandb.com, in Bemidji, Minnesota

Dick, when not traveling to give a motivational talk, in addition to operating the inn, you can find him running or fishing http://www.lakebemidjibandb.com/fishing.html.

Dick’s bestselling autobiography, available at www.dickbeardsley.com, is entitled "Staying the Course: A Runner’s Toughest Race."

Dick is one of the subjects of the 2006 book entitled Duel in the Sun by John Brant, also available at www.dickbeardsley.com

Dick is the subject of a feature film being produced entitled “Against the Wind”. For more information, please go to www.atwmovie.com

Dick is also an accomplished TV commentator and radio announcer.

Since that fateful time in 1996, Dick has turned his life around. In spite of a series of accidents that would have put a mere mortal into a wheelchair for the rest of his life, Dick managed to restart his running program. He ran the 2000 Napa Valley Marathon in 3:23:05, and he trained in 2001 to try to break 3:00 at Grandma's to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his breakthrough performance there. He succeeded, running a fine 2:55:39. Dick called this Grandma's his "biggest triumph."

He returned to Boston to run in 2002, celebrating the 20th anniversary of his "Duel in the Sun" with Alberto Salazar. In March 2004, Dick ran a 2:43:58 at Napa, his best time since before his farm accident. Since that race in 2004, Dick has run many more marathons, all sub 2:50. Dick is also a member of Team New Balance.

Dick has held and continues to have several running camps and also offers online coaching in efforts to help people reach their fitness goals.

If you would like more information or would like to book Dick as a speaker, please contact Jill Beardsley at jill@dickbeardsley.com

For more information about Dick please go to www.dickbeardsley.com


Dick's Accomplishments

  • Minnesota Meeting & Events Assoc. "Best Speaker Award"
  • Inducted into the National Distance Running Hall of Fame - 2010
  • 2009 The Running Event Hall of Fame & Lifetime Achievement Award Winner.
  • Two-time champion, 1981 & 1982 - Grandma's Marathon
  • Course record holder (2:09:37 for 33 years) - 1981 Grandma's Marathon
  • Champion and course record holder (2:16:20) - 1987 Napa Valley Marathon
  • 1981 London Marathon champion (2:11:48)
  • Second-place finish - "The Duel in the Sun" - Boston 1982 - (2:08:53)
  • Two-time Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier - 1980 & 1988
  • Guinness Book of World Records - Only man to have ever run 13 consecutive personal bests in the marathon
  • Robert E. DeCelle Award for US Outstanding Distance Runner - 1982
  • Road Runners Club of America Hall of Fame - inducted 1989 • Runner's World Magazine "Comeback Runner of the Year" - 1990
  • Runner's World Magazine 25th Anniversary "Profile in Courage" Award - 1991
  • National Junior College Athletic Association Hall of Fame inducted 1989
  • National Junior College Athletic Association Track and Field Hall of Fame inducted 1993
  • Member, Team New Balance
  • Expert coach for Chicago's Joints in Motion Team of the Arthritis Foundation
  • Minnesota Track and Field Hall of Fame - 2001
  • American record holder for 10 miles on the track 49:05 - 1982
  • 2006 and 2007 RRCA National Masters Marathon Champion
  • Top Dairy Herd Chisago County, Minnesota 1990 and 1991
  • Associated Milk Producers Young Cooperator Award 1992
  • Past Spokesperson for Farmhand Farm Equipment Company
  • Past Spokesperson for Minnesota Farm Safety Task Force