Martinsville, Virginia


Dick Beardsley to Speak at Martinsville Half Marathon & 5K

The race committee for Miles in Martinsville and the YMCA has announced that former world class marathoner, Dick Beardsley will run in the March 19 Martinsville Half Marathon. Prior to the race, on March 18, he will speak to audiences at Patrick Henry Community College. 

According to the race director, Brad Kinkema, “the Martinsville Half Marathon & 5K is the capstone running event for the “Y” and for the running community in the area.  In that regard, we are bringing in Dick Beardsley, a nationally known motivational speaker, to help grow the race and deliver a message of achievement in the face of adversity.  He is widely recognized as one of the best in the business.” 

Beardsley will deliver two talks on Friday, March 18.  Both will be at the Walker Performing Arts Theater on the campus of Patrick Henry Community College. 

At 11:30 AM, he will address audiences on prescription drug addiction and recovery, based on his own experience with prescription pain killing drugs.

Then at 6:00 PM he will speak to runners, coaches and all interested parties on running, motivation and achievement of potential.

Both talks are free but registration is requested.  Interested parties may register by calling the YMCA at 276-632-6427 or by emailing the race director at  Attendees may also register by logging on to Mile in Martinsville’s Facebook events page.  The address for the addiction and recovery talk is  The address for the runners talk is

Dick Beardsley is a best-selling author and champion - in running and in life. Although his competitive running career as an elite athlete ended in 1988, Dick is still one of the top American distance runners of all time; running 2:08:53 in the 1982 Boston Marathon.  Beardsley is probably best known for his incredible race in the 1982 Boston Marathon.  That race, on a very hot day, was dubbed the "Duel in the Sun" as he battled world record holder Alberto Salazar down to the finish line.  Both broke the American record:  Salazar won in a record time of 2:08:51, Beardsley’s time was 2:08:53!  He was at the height of his professional running career.  He is also a two time Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier.  He is a two-time winner and course record holder of the Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota (2:09:36 in 1981) and winner of the first London Marathon, (2:11:48 in 1981) and is the course record holder for the Napa Valley Marathon (2:16:20 in 1987). 

Dick is more than a running champion. He is a fighter. After a series of near-fatal accidents and a journey of self-discovery, Dick has turned his life around and is enjoying life to its fullest.

Tragedy struck in November 1989.  While using an auger to lift corn into a bin on his Minnesota farm, Dick became entangled in the machine; it began to literally tear him apart.  Not expected to live or walk—much less ever run again—he managed to survive.

But that was just the first of a series of events that would forever change his life.  During the next few years, Dick was involved in a severe car accident, later he was hit by a truck while running, later still, he rolled his vehicle in a snowstorm, and finally while hiking one day, the ground gave out and he fell off a cliff!  Each time he ended up in the hospital and had multiple surgeries to try and put him back together.

Due to all the large amount of pain medication he was taking, he became addicted—and that's when his life really started to spiral out of control.  It has been a long and difficult road back, but Dick has been celebrating every day of his sobriety since February 12, 1997. 

More information on Beardsley can be found on his website at  For details on registering for the Martinsville Half Marathon & 5K, interested runners may go to the race website at or contact the race director at 276-632-6427.