Dick Beardsley & the Duel in the Sun

Dick Beardsley was the honorary chairperson of this year’s Manchester Road Race. He is  a hall of fame runner and is the third fastest US marathoner of all time. Beardsley is a motivational speaker. His running career ended with injuries and depression, but his brief career was stellar. He is famously known for the incredible 1982 Boston Marathon when he placed second to Alberto Salazar in one of the greatest running races of all time. The Duel in the Sun, as it is known was run on a surprisingly hot April day in Massachusetts.

He and Salazar traded blows for 26.2 miles, with the final salvos coming on Commonwealth Avenue and Boylston Street. Salazar out-kicked Beardsley and neither of them have been the same since. Both dug so deep and pushed so far beyond their limits, that many of their subsequent physical and mental challenges are attributed to the damage done during that race.

The Duel in the Sun was chronicled in a book, and you can watch the stirring video on You Tube. The finish is amazing, so if you have to fast forward, watch the final three minutes.

Salazar found top form again, but Beardsley never regained that fitness level. He went on to suffer from a series of life challenges, including substance abuse, before turning his life around and returning to running. His story is a nice one and it was great to have him in Manchester this week. He spoke to several groups about his running career and his life.

1 Response to “Dick Beardsley & the Duel in the Sun”

  1. 1 YogiRavi 18 November 2010 at 1:47 am

    Interesting article in the New Yorker about Alberto and his focus on running efficiency.


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