For a brief moment in the early ’80s Dick Beardsley became the most famous runner 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. After retiring from running, Dick had a series of near fatal accidents that left him addicted to pain killers. His story of overcoming extreme obstacles speaks to anyone who loves competition, who has survived catastrophe, or who has pursued a seemingly impossible goal.
The Dick Beardsley Foundation, created by Beardsley, is a community-based organization created to educate children and young adults about the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle and to educate the public about the danger of drugs, including prescription drugs and the dangers of chemical dependency.