No Matter How High Your Mountain Is, Never, Ever Give Up- Dick Beardsley

For many runners our ‘peak’ race seems like a lifetime ago and thanks to the temperature dropping, our motivation is at a definite low. I thought it would be a great time to bring on a motivational speaker – but he’s not just any motivational speaker. Dick Beardsley is best known for the close finish at the Boston Marathon with Alberto Salazar in 1982, which was considered the greatest marathon finish of all time.

He was inducted into the 2010 National Distance Running Hall of Fame, he’s now an international best selling author, motivational speaker, was the subject of a feature film and is often the keynote address at many events.

Today Dick’s going to share his story with us, including the story of the 1982 marathon. He’s also going to tell us about his addiction to painkillers and the journey he took, as well as how you can learn to appreciate every single run and it’s affect on your perspective.

“I started running almost by accident…I thought if i could earn myself a letter jacket, maybe the girls would come to me…” – Dick -  That’s what led him to cross country running where something magical happened.

Dick Beardsley was once one of the best marathoners in the world, almost beating Alberto Salazar in the Boston Marathon as a "nobody", but it is his story after he retired from running that is truly inspiring. Dick shares all about his drug addiction, struggles with identity, and losing his son. A Must listen!

Highlights from today’s episode include:

  • Dick’s history as a runner
  • The 86th Boston Marathon
  • The effects of the race on his future races
  • Dick’s greatest race
  • Retirement
  • Dick’s struggles with narcotics
  • Recovery

“Pain is temporary, glory is forever.” – Tina

Shortly after Dick retired from running, he had a bad farming accident that nearly killed him. As a result of that incident and a later automobile accident, he was introduced to narcotics for pain and became addicted. For a short time, his life was not his own, he was taking illegal medication, forging prescriptions and at the worst point was taking 80-90 pills a day. At his very bottom, he got caught – he took responsibility for his actions, got into a treatment plan, and today is celebrating 19 years of sobriety.

Dick’s advice? “When you wake in the morning – do it with a smile on your face, enthusiasm in your voice, joy in your heart and faith in your soul.”

Dick has overcome some serious obstacles and has a unique and uplifting view on life. His take? For the runners out there, it can get a little tedious out there – just realize how fortunate you are. Enjoy every run. Knowing that you’re out there doing something good for yourself, it’s got to put a smile on your face.

Contact Dick for online coaching at or his wife Jill at for speaking engagements. Visit his website to learn more about him.

“If you’re really willing to put in the work and time, who knows where it’s going to take you.” – Dick

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WOW! One of my favorite @Runners_Connect interviews so far; Dick Beardsley. Very inspirational! Click To Tweet

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