Martinsville, Virginia


Dick Beardsley to speak at Martinsville Bulletin Half Marathon & 5K and Community Opioid Forum

Dick Beardsley to speak at Martinsville Bulletin Half Marathon & 5K and Community Opioid Forum

Miles in Martinsville and the YMCA is pleased to announce that former world-class marathoner and internationally renowned speaker, Dick Beardsley, will run in the March 24 Martinsville Bulletin Half Marathon. Prior to the race, he will address audiences at Martinsville’s New College Institute. According to the race director, Brad Kinkema, “The Martinsville Bulletin Half Marathon & 5K is the capstone running event for the “Y” and the local running community. In that regard, we are bringing in Dick Beardsley, a nationally known motivational speaker, to help grow the race and deliver a message of hope and achievement in the face of difficult challenges. Beardsley is widely recognized as one of the best in the business.”

On Thursday evening, Beardsley will participate in a community opioid forum, titled Running for Redemption, to be hosted by the New College Institute. Beardsley will share his own story of addiction to prescription painkilling drugs brought on by a series of serious accidents. This event, sponsored by The New College Institute, Martinsville Police Department, Piedmont Community Services, Drug-Free MHC, and the Martinsville Henry County Coalition for Health and Wellness, will be open to area educators, medical professionals, faith groups, community agencies, and the public at large.

Date: March 22, 2018 @ 5:30 PM
Location: Martin-Lacy Lecture Hall at New College Institute
Talk is free to the public. We ask that attendees please register prior to the event by one of following options:
Call: Ruby Jones, NCI Administrative Services Coordinator, at (276) 403-5605
Visit: Website at:

Then, on Friday, Beardsley will address runners at New College Institute. His message of determination and achievement in the face of adversity is inspirational to top competitors and everyday joggers alike. He has an uplifting message for non-runners as well as the running community.

Date: March 23, 2018 @ 7:00 PM
Location: Martin-Lacy Lecture Hall at New College Institute
Talk is free to the public. We ask that attendees please register prior to the event by one of following options:
Call: Joe Philpott, race marketing & promotion @ 276-252-2011
Visit: Facebook Event page at:


Dick Beardsley is a compelling motivational/inspirational keynote speaker at Fortune 500 companies, non-profit organizations, conferences, conventions, corporate events, fundraisers, galas, sporting events, prisons, schools and drug treatment centers. Dick is referred to as a running legend in the United States and is best known for his incredible race in the 1982 Boston Marathon. The 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 Boston and American record with Salazar winning in a record time of 2:08:51. Beardsley’s time was 2:08:53, finishing second by 1.6 seconds. In November of 1989, tragedy struck Dick’s life. 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. Today Dick and his wife, Jill, are the Innkeepers and owners of the beautiful Lake Bemidji Bed and Breakfast, , in Bemidji, Minnesota.

Dick, when not traveling to give a motivational talk, in addition to operating the inn, you can find him running or fishing Dick’s bestselling autobiography, available at, is entitled "Staying the Course: A Runner’s Toughest Race." Beardsley is also one of the subjects of the 2006 book entitled “Duel in the Sun” by John Brant, also available at Since that fateful time in 1996, Dick has turned his life around. In spite of a series of accidents that would have put a mere mortal into a wheelchair for the rest of his life, Dick managed to restart his running program. He ran the 2000 Napa Valley Marathon in 3:23:05, and he trained in 2001 to try to break 3:00 at Grandma's to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his breakthrough performance there. He succeeded, running a fine 2:55:39. Dick called this Grandma's his "biggest triumph." He returned to Boston to run in 2002, celebrating the 20th anniversary of his "Duel in the Sun" with Alberto Salazar. In March 2004, Dick ran a 2:43:58 at Napa, his best time since before his farm accident. Since that race in 2004, Dick has run many more marathons, all sub 2:50. He is a member of Team New Balance.

Among Dick Beardsley’s many Accomplishments -

• Member - National Distance Running Hall of Fame

• Member - Road Runners Club of America Hall of Fame

• Member - National Junior College Athletic Association Track and Field Hall of Fame

• Member - Minnesota Track and Field Hall of Fame

• 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

• Robert E. DeCelle Award for US Outstanding Distance Runner

• Runner's World Magazine "Comeback Runner of the Year" - 1990

• Runner's World Magazine 25th Anniversary "Profile in Courage" Award

• Member - Team New Balance

• American record holder for 10 miles on the track 49:05 - 1982

• 2006 and 2007 RRCA National Masters Marathon Champion

Details on the Martinsville Bulletin Half Marathon & 5K can be found at and on our Facebook Race Page at