The Dick Beardsley Half Marathon was developed to honor former Detroit Lakes resident and marathon legend, Dick Beardsley, and as a tune-up for the Twin Cities Marathon.
Dick Beardsley is a compelling motivational and 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. On a very hot day, that race was dubbed the “Duel in the Sun” as he battled world recorder holder Alberto Salazar down to the finish line. Both broke the American record: Salazar won 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 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 as it literally began to 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 and later still, rolled his vehicle in a snowstorm. Finally, while hiking one day, the ground gave out beneath him 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 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 an difficult road back, but Dick has been celebrating every day of his sobriety since February 12, 1997.