I rarely get star struck but today was definitely an exception.
I was recently given an opportunity to listen to and meet with Dick Beardsley who gave a talk at the Philippine Sports Commission.
Who is Dick Beardsley?
He is an American long-distance runner best known for his close finish with Alberto Salazar in the 1982 Boston Marathon or better known as “Duel in the Sun". Beardsley is the only man to have ever run 13 consecutive personal bests in the marathon and is in the Guinness Book of World Records for the feat. His finish time of 2:09:37 at the 1981 Grandma's Marathon stood as a course record for 33 years until it was broken in 2014.
In November 1989, Beardsley nearly died in a farm mishap and required five months to recuperate. He was also involved in three serious automobile accidents, each requiring hospitalization for back and neck injuries. While on a hike, he was hurt after falling down an embankment when the path collapsed and had to undergo three back operations in 1994 and knee surgery in 1995.
After each of his injuries, Beardsley was prescribed medication for the pain and over four years, developed an addiction to the medication. He was arrested September 30, 1996, for forging prescriptions and sentenced to five years probation and 460 hours of community service. Beardsley spent nine days in a psychiatric unit where he was prescribed methadone and eventually quit the drug as well through a course of out-patient treatments. His first day of chemical-free sobriety was February 12, 1997.
In October 2007, Beardsley started the Dick Beardsley Foundation. The foundation's goals are to educate the general public about chemical dependency and to provide assistance to individuals suffering from chemical dependency who are unable to pay for a 12-step treatment program. It also allows Beardsley to speak about his own experience in overcoming addiction. In 2010, Beardsley was inducted into the National Distance Running Hall of Fame.
A truly amazing man not only for what he has achieved in the field of running but how he was able to overcome the personal tragedies that befell him and, at the same time, extend much needed help to others in the process. Mr. Beardsley is truly an inspiration to me.
Jim Lafferty brought in Dick Bearsley to the Philippines.
Seat Mates kami !
Coach Salazar .... not Alberto Salazar :- )
A short film showing before the Start of the Program .
Dick Beardsley neck and neck against. Alberto Salazar in the 1982 Boston Marathon or better known as
" Duel in the Sun ".
He even got to sign my " RunningShield " Diary Book.