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Marathoner to speak about running, challenges, comebacks

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Dick Beardsley was a world-class marathon runner who won the first London Marathon in 1981 and nearly won the 1982 Boston Marathon, a hard-fought battle dubbed the Duel in the Sun. Later a series of accidents left him battling a tougher opponent, addiction to narcotic pain medicine. His autobiography, “Staying the Course: A Runner’s Toughest Race,” has been widely read.

Beardsley brings his story to the Black Hills in early December for a pair of motivational speeches. He will speak Monday, Dec. 3, at 10 a.m. in the Joy Center at Black Hills State University. On Tuesday, Dec. 4, at 10 a.m. he will speak in the King Center’s Hall of Fame Room at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology.

Both talks are free and open to the public. Beardsley’s visit is part of the Make Your Comeback Speaker Series, sponsored by Monument Health and the Monument Health Foundation.

After his competitive running career ended in 1988, Beardsley returned to his Minnesota dairy farm. Accidents, including a near fatal encounter with a corn auger, put him in the hospital several times and introduced him to pain pills. By 1996, he was forging prescriptions and taking handfuls of pills every day. In time, he emerged drug-free.

In his motivational speeches, Beardsley talks about overcoming adversity, never giving up hope, being a world-class competitor and staying the course despite roadblocks and doubt.

In addition to traveling the world giving motivational talks, he and his wife, Jill, own Lake Bemidji Bed & Breakfast in Minnesota. He also is a local area fishing guide, and he continues to hold running camps and offer online coaching to help runners achieve their best performance.

Monument Health
Monument Health is an integrated health care system with a mission to make a difference in the lives of our patients and communities every day. The organization, headquartered in Rapid City, provides community-based health care covering 32 specialty areas of medicine in more than 20 communities in two states. Monument Health is comprised of five hospitals, 25 clinics and almost 5,000 physicians and caregivers. Monument Health hospitals in Rapid City, Spearfish and Sturgis have been rated as four-star hospitals by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. For more information, visit


Dan Daly
Communications Specialist
Strategic Marketing and Communications
Monument Health

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Trevor Larson
Public Relations Coordinator

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