Runner Dick Beardsley will speak from noon to 1 p.m. Friday at the Brainerd Public Library as part of the "Brown Bag Lunch" summer speakers' series.
Beardsley recently published his biography, "Staying the Course: A Runner's Toughest Race," with Maureen Anderson.
For a brief moment in the early 1980s, Beardsley became the most famous runner in the world -- by losing a race. In the 1982 Boston Marathon, Beardsley finished 2 seconds behind Alberto Salazar in a contest often called one of the most memorable in marathon history. It was the closest finish ever at the world's premier marathon, and both runners broke the course and the American records.
"Staying the Course" recounts the race that made Beardsley a celebrity and the difficult years that followed, including his recovery from a near-fatal farm accident, his subsequent addiction to painkillers and a very public arrest for forging prescriptions. Beardsley recalls his rise from Minnesota small-town kid and mediocre runner to celebrated athlete. He gives a description of the Boston race and its unexpected obstacles: He was sideswiped by a bus, hobbled by a charley horse, and derailed by a motorcycle cop.
"Staying the Course" is inspirational and demonstrates just how much can be endured no matter how long and arduous the race -- and the value of what is learned along the way.
Beardsley is a professional speaker, fishing guide and radio announcer. He broke numerous marathon records and still holds the records for Grandma's Marathon in Duluth and the Napa Valley Marathon.
Anderson is a writer and award-winning radio journalist.
"Staying the Course: A Runner's Toughest Race" is published by the University of Minnesota Press.
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