Dick Beardsley

Not only is Dick an international best selling author, but he is one of the world’s most extraordinary, respected, and compelling motivational / inspirational speakers.   He is also the subject of a feature film, entitled Against the Wind.  Dick has been the keynote speaker at Fortune 500 companies, non-profit organizations, conferences, conventions, corporate events, fundraisers, sporting events, prisons, schools and drug treatment centers, to name a few.  Anywhere motivation and inspiration is needed.  Dick has spoken to countless number of groups all over the world, ranging in size from 5 people to 15,000 people!  He has a gift of making people laugh, cry and most importantly, think and appreciate life to the fullest, despite any ups and downs that may come along. Dick's talks are directly from his heart and are highly inspirational.


For a brief moment in the early '80s Dick Beardsley became the most famous runner / athlete in the world - by losing a race. In the 1982 Boston Marathon, Beardsley, foiled by a motorcycle that cut him off near the end, finished two 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.


The story of Dick's running career alone is the stuff of legends, but it is the story that comes after that draws people in and keeps them listening. Dick is a true survivor.  Having looked death straight in the eyes, during a farm accident, Dick's life is a story of hope and redemption. 


After retiring from running, Dick had a series of near fatal accidents that left him addicted to pain killers.  On September 30, 1996, when he was taking a cocktail of Valium, Percocet, and Demerol, all very highly addictive narcotics, 80 - 90 pills a day - he was caught.  Dick spent hours with federal DEA agents, convincing them that he was taking them all, every last one of them and not selling them, as they has suspected, given the high number of prescriptions.


His story of overcoming extreme obstacles speaks to anyone who loves competition, who has survived catastrophe, or who has pursued a seemingly impossible goal. 


Dick's Accomplishments

  • Minnesota Meeting & Events Assoc. "Best Speaker Award" 
  • Inducted into the National Distance Running Hall of Fame - 2010
  • 2009 The Running Event Hall of Fame & Lifetime Achievement Award Winner.
  • Two-time champion, 1981 & 1982 - Grandma's Marathon
  • Course record holder (2:09:37 for 33 years) - 1981 Grandma's Marathon
  • Champion and course record holder (2:16:20) - 1987 Napa Valley Marathon
  • 1981 London Marathon champion (2:11:48)
  • Second-place finish - "The Duel in the Sun" - Boston 1982 - (2:08:53)
  • Two-time Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier - 1980 & 1988
  • Guinness Book of World Records - Only man to have ever run 13 consecutive personal bests in the marathon
  • Robert E. DeCelle Award for US Outstanding Distance Runner - 1982
  • Road Runners Club of America Hall of Fame - inducted 1989
  • Runner's World Magazine "Comeback Runner of the Year" - 1990
  • Runner's World Magazine 25th Anniversary "Profile in Courage" Award - 1991
  • National Junior College Athletic Association Hall of Fame inducted 1989
  • National Junior College Athletic Association Track and Field Hall of Fame inducted 1993
  • Member, Team New Balance
  • Expert coach for Chicago's Joints in Motion Team of the Arthritis Foundation
  • Minnesota Track and Field Hall of Fame - 2001
  • American record holder for 10 miles on the track 49:05 - 1982
  • 2006 and 2007 RRCA National Masters Marathon Champion
  • Top Dairy Herd Chisago County, Minnesota 1990 and 1991
  • Associated Milk Producers Young Cooperator Award 1992
  • Past Spokesperson for Farmhand Farm Equipment Company
  • Past Spokesperson for Minnesota Farm Safety Task Force