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In this episode we interview Dick Beardsley–2:08 marathoner, running ambassador, and motivational speaker.
His neck-and-neck race against Alberto Salazar at the 1982 Boston Marathon is famously known as the “Duel in the Sun” and lives on as Boston Marathon lore.
In 1989 Dick suffered severe injuries from a farming accident that badly mangled his body and later led to an addiction to pain killers. He also lost his 31 year old son, an Iraq War veteran, to suicide in 2015. Through all the hardships Dick has persevered and is a true example of the power of redemption and hope.
Interview with Dick Beardsley
Dick Beardsley, age 64, lives in Bemidji, Minnesota. He was the co-winner of the 1981 London Marathon and the course record holder at the Grandma’s Marathon for 33 years. He finished 2nd in Boston in 1982 when he battled Alberto Salazar in one of the closest and most exciting Boston finishes .. . . there is a book about the race by John Brant called “Duel in the Sun”. Salazar was the favorite to win Boston and Dick was viewed as a small-town farm boy and clear underdog. Dick’s fastest marathon time was 2:08:53 at the 1982 Boston Marathon.
In November of 1989, while working on his dairy farm, Dick was using an auger on the back of a tractor to lift corn into a crib. Somehow he became entangled in the auger and it began to tear him apart. Before he lost consciousness he managed to stop the machine. “To this day, I still don’t remember how I did it,” Dick recalls. “I broke all the ribs on my right side, my right arm, mangled my left leg, and beat up my head pretty badly. I was crawling on my belly toward the house when I was found. I was laid up for five months.”
If you are feeling hopeless or dealing with thoughts of suicide please reach out for help. The National Suicide Hotline Number is 1-800-273-8255.
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