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.
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.
Additionally, Dick is an accomplished TV commentator and radio announcer.
Dick and his wife, Jill, are the Innkeepers and owners of the beautiful Lake Bemidji Bed and Breakfast, in Bemidji, Minnesota.