December 29, 2008

Christmas ramblings and Happy New Year!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and will have a happy, healthy 2009! Speaking of health, I thought I'd update everyone on my knee. It has been very frustrating but it won't be long and I will be getting a brand new one! My right knee has been operated on 11 times since I first hurt it in college back in 1976, needless to say the knee is not good and is riddled with arthritis.

I went in for arthroscopic surgery to clean out the knee on November 17th hoping to get a few more years out of it. Unfortunately, my knee became badly infected and I had to be taken back into surgery, after surgery I was hooked up with a Pic Line and had to feed myself heavy duty antibiotics for three weeks, the good news is the infection has been taken care of but it really did a number on my joint. I went to another doctor for a second opinion and everyone agrees the only thing left to do is a total knee replacement.

As of today, I can't walk without using a cane or crutches so the idea of getting a new knee that will enable me to walk again without a cane sounds great! My surgery is scheduled for January 14th. I've heard the rehab part of it after surgery is a tough one but I'm up for the challenge! Most doctors recommend you not run after a total knee replacement, I know I will have to cut way back, but I hope to get back to where I can run a few miles a week and then get most of my "aerobic fix" from cycling. I will keep everyone posted on how things are going!

Take care and have a great 2009!

December 15, 2008

Dallas White Rock Marathon

I've been very fortunate to have been invited to speak at the Dallas White Rock Marathon over the last few years, Marcus Grunewald the race director and his staff do an incredible job putting on a world class event!

I flew to Dallas on Thursday, it was a little more difficult because of being on crutches, but the folks at Southwest Airlines were awesome! Since I could not have my leg propped up on the plane, by the time I got to the hotel it was hurting pretty bad!

Friday afternoon the expo opened and the place was packed! I gave my presentation at 1:00, my good friend Mark Bravo from Oklahoma City and the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon introduced me. I stood on the stage with my crutches and things actually went very well! I'm used to moving all over the stage when I speak but not this time. I lost my balance once and thought I might land in the front row of folks, but thankfully I was able to catch myself!

Afterwards I spent some time at the New Balance Shoe Co. booth and then headed back to my hotel to get my leg up. Friday night my wife Jill and our son Matthew arrived by car, we had a nice meal and Matthew and I had fun riding the hotel elevator up to the top and back a few times!

I gave my second talk on Saturday afternoon and it went very well, Jill and Matthew were in the front row, it was the fist time Matthew had ever heard me give a talk before and I think he kind of enjoyed it! After my talk, I spent a couple of hours at the NB booth selling and signing books, signing NB posters, taking pictures, and just chatting with folks. I really had a lot of fun and it was nice having Matthew there with me as he handled all the book money and he had fun helping me out!

Saturday night myself, Jill, and Matthew were at the Pasta Dinner (one of the best ones you will find at a marathon!) I had to sit up at the head table. There was only room for one more person so Jill sat down in the audience and Matthew sit next to me, on his right was Olympic Marathon Gold Medalist, Frank Shorter, Frank has been a friend of mine for many years and took soome time to talk Matthew, I don't think Matthew fully understood who he was sitting by and was talking to!

Also at the head table were my good friends Bill Rodgers and Bart Yasso and his wife Laura, always good to see old friends whenever I can!

Sunday morning, we were up early for a nice breakfast and then on our way home back to Austin. Thanks Marcus for the great weekend we had, keep up the AWESOME work you do!

December 11, 2008

Shu's Idaho Running Company, Boise, Idaho

Shu and Leone

Dick speaking on crutches!

Matt Booth, PT at Therapeutic Associates checking Dick's knee

Dick with Nate, KBOI Radio Host

My trip while I was in Boise was AWESOME! The trip traveling to Boise was another story! I flew from Austin to Phoenix to Boise, normally, not a bad trip but I was still fighting the infection in my right knee and I was really hurting! The good news was that I got to board the plane first because of my crutches! My good friend Jenny Stinson took time off from working at her company, Stinson Brand Innovation picked me up at the airport and we headed over to Shu's Idaho Running Co, Mike aka Shu, the owner was there and he introduced me to his staff. I stayed a couple of hours selling and signing my book, chatting with folks, and being on live radio. After my store visit, I went back to Jenny's where I was staying. I've known Jenny and her husband Mark for a number of years now and we have become great friends, there at the door to meet me was Fremont, the Stinson's beautiful golden retriever, I had not seen Fremont in a couple of years but I think he remembered me!

That night Jenny hosted a little get together with some friends from their local running club, what a bunch of nice folks!

Tuesday morning I was up early and headed for Therapeutic Associates to do a meet and greet, It was wonderful, and the staff even worked on my knee for me! Jenny and I had a nice breakfast and then it was back over to Shu's Idaho Running Co., for another meet and greet. Boise is packed full of some of the nicest people you will ever meet! Shu's store was recently voted one of the top 50 specialty running stores in the country! After my afternoon meet and greet at Shu's, I was able to go back to Jenny's and get a little R&R my knee was really hurting and it was nice to get it up and elevated for awhile.

Tuesday evening was my main talk and it was held at The Pursuit, it's a local church in Boise and they were very kind to let me use their venue for my talk. We had a really good turnout and my talk went well. I like to move around the stage when I speak but with crutches I was pretty much stationed in one spot, but at least I didn't fall off the stage! After my talk I did a meet and greet, sold and signed books, and took pictures with anyone that wanted one.

Wednesday morning I met with some of Jenny's friends and then did one last meet & greet at Shu's, before it was off to the airport for my flight home to Austin.

I want to thank everyone for the wonderful time I had in Boise, it's a beautiful city and you should all be so very proud! A special thanks to Jenny Stinson, Shu's Idaho Running Co, Therapeutic Associates, The Pursuit, and the New Balance Shoe Company. Thanks to everyone for helping my trip to Boise so special, can't wait to come back!

November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Ramblings

As I sit at our kitchen table a couple of days after Thanksgiving, my how much I have to be thankful for! I have been running for over 35 years now, not once have I ever taken my running for granted, I’ve always felt I’ve been given this incredible gift and I thank the good Lord every day for it! As planned, I headed in for surgery on my right knee (the 10th on that knee) on November 17, I hurt my knee not from running but from getting hit by a wave in the Atlantic Ocean back in September.

I had my surgery; the surgery itself went very well. November 18, Jill and I celebrated our one year anniversary. Life is good. The next day I went back to the doctor and things looked great! I had my first meeting with my physical therapist and that went great, was even able to pedal the stationary bike all the way around without much of a problem. As each day went by I felt better and better, I was biking more, walking a couple of miles a day, I could bend the knee almost as much as my left one. I was beginning to think that it won’t be but two or three more weeks and I will be back out running again, life was good!......And then came Saturday.

My best friend of thirty years, Mike Dunlap and his wife Karen flew down to Austin to visit my wife Jill and I. They had never been here before and Mike who at one time was a 2:18 marathoner, was now a big time cyclist, needless to say he was excited to be here out of the cold of Sioux Falls, South Dakota to get a few good miles on the bike!

By Saturday afternoon I noticed my right knee getting sore and puffy, I just figured I’d been up on it too much the past couple of days. Saturday night I barely could sleep as my knee kept getting swelled up and more painful by the minute! Sunday I spent most of the day on the couch, Sunday night was brutal! I could not get comfortable at all, I could hardly wait until morning so I could call the doctor and get in to see him. My wife Jill left early that morning for work, and I tried not to let her see the agony I was in, she has always said she is the worrier of the family, but my knee was the last thing I wanted to have her worrying about!

Monday morning I could barely move, I could put absolutely no weight on my right leg at all, my knee was swollen up like a large softball. When I had my farm accident back in 1989, I went through something similar, this time though the pain was even worse! Mike and Karen got me to the doctor’s clinic on their way to the airport, Jill met us at the clinic. By this point I was hurting so bad, I was crying! If you know me, you know I can cry about most anything sentimental, but not over pain. They wheeled me right into a room and my PA, checked things out and immediately numbed up the knee as best she could and withdrew 60cc’s of some nasty looking stuff from my knee. They had to do that same procedure three days in a row, 60 cc’s each day. They put me on some heavy duty anti-inflammatory, but that did nothing, each day it would swell all back up and the pain was excruciating!

The lab results were not showing any type of infection, but with no relief from the anti-inflammatory meds, on Wednesday they injected a cortisone shot directly into the knee, no relief from that either.

Thanksgiving night we got a text from my doctorand he had talked about taking me back into surgery but wanted more confirmation from the lab, that would be available Friday morning.

Jill received a phone call from my doctor Friday morning, and it wasn’t the best of news, yes I had an infection growing in my knee! Friday afternoon they wheeled me back into surgery (now the 11th on that knee, for anyone that is counting besides me) to clean out the infected knee and they put heavy duty antibiotics right into the joint. Now for three weeks I will have the antibiotics delivered right into my body via a Picc Line, kinda like an IV in your arm.
Infections are never a good thing but especially ones you get inside your joints, can problems arise from such a thing, yes they can and it can be very serious, do I worry about what might happen? Nope, I will cross that bridge if and when the time comes, if we were to sit and worry about all the possible things that could happen to us each and every day, what kind of life would that be?
What am I thinking about during this trying time? I think about how fortunate I am to be able to wake up each morning and see the sunrise, to enjoy our pet finches sing to their hearts content like today is the best day ever, to have our dog Sophie give me her loving nudge or our cat Tigger sit on my chest purring like she’s in heaven, I think about the wonderful friends and people I don’t even know who have me in their thoughts and prayers, to my son Andrew who is serving our country in the United States Army, I think about how its going to feel back out on another run down on Lady Bird Trail, and I think about how fortunate I am to have my loving wife Jill by my side 24/7, she is my light at the end of the tunnel.

November 17, 2008

Rock & Roll San Antonio Marathon

Khalid Khannouchi
Jay Hilsher

Roger Soler

Frank, Khalid and Dick

WOW, is all I can say for the very first Rock & Roll Marathon in San Antonio! The Rock and Roll Marathons have been around for a few years now held in various cities around the country and have drawn huge crowds in a very fun atmosphere. Not only is it open for runners of all abilities, it also attracts a good elite field of men and women. A little over a year ago Rock and Roll decided to have one of their events in San Antonio, they said right off the get go that they would have 15,000 runners for the half and full marathon, that's huge, especially for a first time event! They didn't come close to that number, they had over 24,000 official starters, incredible!

My wife Jill and I drove down from Austin on Thursday evening and checked into our hotel. I was there on behalf of the New Balance Shoe Co. to give a few talks and also sign posters, bib numbers, have pictures taken, and so on at the New Balance booth, we had a wonderful time!

I attended the press conference and was asked to come up on stage with Gold Medalist, Frank Shorter, and former world record holder, Khalid Khannouchi. My old friend Tony Reavis was the MC and asked us questions about the state of running today and other running related questions.

My talks went well, and each talk was proceeded by my good friend Bart Yasso from Runners World Magazine. After Bart's talk, Bart would introduce me, he's a tough act to follow!

I also had a great visit with Roger Soler. Roger owns several running stores in the San Antonio area, Soler's Sports, and he has a great set up at the expo. He puts on several area events, including Sunmart, which is Texas Trail Endurance Run, which is either a 50 miler or 50k, your choice. This has always been in the back of my head to do.

Jill does a great job of taking pictures with folks and making sure they receive them, she also helps with my book sales, what a pleasure to have her with me at some of my speaking engagements!

Sunday morning was perfect for weather for a marathon, sunshine, cool, and no wind!

Thanks San Antonio for putting on such a wonderful event, keep up the great work!

November 13, 2008

The Running Event

Jim Davis, Dick Beardsley and Dave Shelbourne
Bart Yasso, Dick Beardsley and John Bingham

The Running Event, is usually held in Austin, Texas every year, but because the Austin Convention Center was unavailable this year, it was moved to Dallas, the folks in Dallas did a great job!

The Running Event is a convention held each November for owners and managers of specialty running stores around the country. I'm one of the owners of the Dick Beardsley Running Company store in Fargo, ND. We were the very first running specialty store in the whole state of North Dakota! With many things that I have my name attached to, I get way too much credit for its success! All of our partners work so hard and do such a incredible job, I couldn't be more proud of a group of people!

I arrived Sunday evening after the Fort Worth Marathon and checked into the Adolphus Hotel in downtown Dallas, what a gorgeous hotel! I picked up my good friend Dave Shelbourne from the New Balance Shoe Co. at the airport and we drove right to Bob and Rebbecca Wallace's home for a little get together. Bob and Rebbecca own one of the top running stores in the entire country, called Run On!

Monday morning I was up bright and early to go for a run, I met Thom Abrams from Superfeet and we hooked up for a nice 5 mile run. The rest of Monday was attending different seminars and seeing lots of old friends I hadn't seen for quite sometime. Monday evening I was heading back to the airport to pick up Greg Hammes and Greg Liebl, (we call him Junior), two of my good friends and partners in our running store. It was raining so hard that I had to turn back! I was able to get a hold of the Greg and they were able to take a cab to the hotel.

Tuesday morning it was up early for a nice 8 mile run with Greg and Junior, it was then onto another busy day of meetings. At 4pm, it was back to the airport to pick up my wife, Jill. She was flying in to attend the special Hall of Fame Banquet set for Tuesday night.

The Hall of Fame Banquet was wonderful! Jim Davis the owner of the New Balance Shoe Company was one of 3 people inducted into The Running Event Hall of Fame, they could not have inducted a more deserving person! I first met Jim back in the summer of 1980, he is the same wonderful person today as he was the first time I met him 28 years ago!

Wednesday morning I took Jill to the airport at 6AM for her flight home, she was back at work by 8! That morning they had a 5K road race for all the attendees, our own Greg Liebl (Junior) took second overall (15:30) and first among store owners, way to go Junior!!!

Wednesday was the opening of the incredible expo they put on! We got to see all the latest in running shoes and gear, much of it not even on the market yet! I spent about 3 hours that afternoon in the New Balance booth signing special posters New Balance had made up for me to sign.

Afterwards, it was time for me to pack up and head for home to get ready to head to San Antonio for the San Antonio Rock & Roll Marathon. I'd like to give a big thanks to Dave Shelbourne and New Balance for making my trip to The Running Event all possible, I had a great time!

November 10, 2008

Fort Worth Marathon

The Fort Worth Marathon is a brand new event, thanks to race director Steve Looney. Steve is a massage therapist in the Fort Worth area and has a organization called Run Like a Cheetah Training Program. This organization targets childhood obesity in Tarrant County public schools. by providing after-school running programs to promote health and fitness.

I arrived to the Fort Worth Hilton Hotel on Saturday afternoon, I parked my car across from the hotel, checked in, and then rested for a couple of hours before I went and spoke at the pasta dinner. I came out of the hotel around 5:45 to get into my car and head to the dinner, when I came out, my car was gone!!! I thought maybe I had come out the wrong side of the hotel, but nope, it was the right one.

I headed across the street and the manager of Del Frisco restaurant owner pointed to a sign that said "No Parking" I was parked a half block down the other direction where there was no sign. To make a long story short, it cost me $245 to get my car out of the impound lot!

The pasta dinner was nice, a small crowd with lots of great food! I gave a talk to the folks and it all went very well.

Sunday morning was cool and clear, a great day to run! All of the start and finish activities were at the LaGrave Field, which is the Fort Worth Cats baseball field, it was a super location for everything! At exactly 8AM the gun was fired and the 150 or so runners took off in either the half or the full marathon. I ran the half easy as I'm heading in for knee surgery on November 17. The race took a loop around the inside of the stadium and then off we went onto the trail system along the river. It is a very pretty course that is mostly flat as a pancake.

There was lots of good post race food and drink and they gave in a random drawing $1000 and $500!

The Fort Worth Marathon is a great little event that will continue to grow and be a staple in the Fort Worth running community! A big thanks to Steve Looney for putting on a fun well organized race that I look forward to years to come!

November 6, 2008

New England Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association Sports Conference

I flew to Providence, Rhode Island on Wednesday to speak at the New England Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association Sports Conference. I arrived around 4:30 PM and took a short shuttle ride to the downtown Providence Hilton Hotel. I had been traveling all day, so I had a nice dinner and then watched the election returns on television. No matter who you voted for it was truly a historic event, one that I will never forget!

Wednesday morning I was up early for a beautiful 8 mile run through the Brown University campus and the surrounding neighborhoods, I can't tell you how beautiful New England is in the fall!

After my run, a quick shower and breakfast, I had time to go over what I was going to speak about at the noontime luncheon where I was the keynote speaker. After a nice lunch with many of the attendees, I delivered a one hour talk that went very well. I stayed afterwards just long enough to shake peoples hands and say my thank you's and then it was off for the airport as I had a flight back home to Austin at 4PM. It was a very quick but also a very enjoyable trip to Providence!

I want to thank Executive Director, Jan Woodman along with the NEHRSA Board of Directors, for inviting me to speak at their annual fall conference, keep up the great work you all do in promoting fitness and leading a healthy, active, lifestyle!

November 3, 2008

Bass Pro Shops Fitness Festival

Bill Rodgers, Brian Correll and me!
Brian Correll, looking very strong!

Beautiful countryside

I flew from Rapid City, South Dakota on Thursday and got into Springfield, MO at around 7:30 PM. My good friend Danny Correll and his daughter Hannah picked me and Frank Shorter up at the airport and took us to our hotel, needless to say, I was very tired and pretty much went right to bed.

Friday morning I was up early and Danny picked me up and took me to the local CBS TV station for a early morning interview about the Bass Pro Fitness Festival. I wore my running clothes and did a 8 mile run back to my hotel after my interview. Around noon, Danny picked me up and took me to Hannah's high school, Rogersville High where I delivered a one hour talk to the entire student body, the kids were absolutely super! After my talk to it was back over to Bass Pro's World Headquarters where I hung out with Bob Woods and Andrea, both work with New Balance . I chatted with folks, signed a few autographs, and had some pictures taken.

At 6PM, I attended the Missouri Valley Conference XC Banquet along with my ole friends Frank Shorter, Bill Rodgers, and Jeff Galloway.

Saturday morning was the Bass Pro Fitness Festival 5 & 10K road races, hundreds of folks were there on a beautiful morning for running. Because of my injured knee (having surgery on it on Nov.17) I couldn't race but I ran the 10K and had wonderful time running with everyone!

After a quick breakfast, I was back to Bass Pro to help with the awards ceremony along with Frank, Bill, and Jeff. Saturday I gave a informal "round table" talk with runners and it was really a good time!

Saturday evening I made a appearance at the Team n' Training get together and then headed back over for the pasta dinner. Bass Pro put on the free dinner for all the runners and many took advantage of this great meal. I gave about a 20 minute talk and had people all revved up to run the next morning!

Sunday morning was another great fall morning to run! Today they had the full marathon and the half, I ran the half at about a 7 minute/mile pace and felt good up until around 9 miles and then my right knee really started to bother me! Can't hardly wait to get it fixed!

Sunday afternoon was the awards ceremony and all of us invited guests helped with that, signed autographs, sold books, had pictures taken, and chatted with many of the runners.

This was the second year of the Bass Pro Shop's Fitness Festival and it was bigger and better then last year! They have a great event going here and I expect it to continue to grow in the years ahead!

A huge thank you goes out to Carol and Martin from Bass Pro, Bob and Andrea from New Balance, and Danny , Hannah, and Brian Correll for making my weekend such a fun one!

October 30, 2008

Black Hills State University

I flew into Rapid City, South Dakota, and my good friend and the Dean of the Business School at Black Hills State University, Priscilla Romkema picked me up and we made the beautiful 45 minute drive to Spearfish, South Dakota. I've been to Spearfish a few times over the years to speak and it's a great town of 12,000 people on the northern end of the gorgeous Black Hills.

Monday evening I had the pleasure of having dinner with Paul and Kathy Young, I've known Paul and Kathy for over 20 years and they are wonderful people! Paul is Priscilla's brother and was on our staff when my best friend Mike Dunlap and I had a running camp out in the Black Hills back in the mid 80's.

Tuesday morning it was out early for a nice eight mile run and then off to BHSU for the first of a few talks that day that I gave to different student classes. Tuesday afternoon, I spent with Scott Walkinshaw and the BHSU Men's and Women's XC Team, I was invited to run their workout with them, but I decided to watch and cheer instead, as they were doing mile repeats on the track, way faster then I could ever do them now!

Tuesday evening I had dinner with Priscilla and her husband Fred, and Jerry and Elaine Dunn, all of us runners, so we had lots to talk about!

I was up early Wednesday morning for a nice 8 mile run with the men's XC team, thankfully they were very kind to me and didn't run to fast! Afterwards I spoke to one of Coach Walkinshaw's sports psychology class, it was lots of fun!

Wednesday afternoon I spoke to a bunch of business graduate students and then it was time for my keynote address to the students, faculty, and also open to the public, we had a nice crowd and my talk went real well.

Afterwards the XC team hosted a get together along with a silent auction to raise money for the team, during the get together a microphone was passed around the crowd and I answered many questions, it was really a great time!

Thursday morning it was up early for a beautiful run along the rolling hills and pines of Spearfish, then onto the airport for my trip to Springfield, MO.

I'd like to say a big thanks to Priscilla, Coach Walkinshaw, the faculty of BHSU, and the entire community of Spearfish for making my stay such a enjoyable one!

October 24, 2008

New Balance Chicago area trip

Dick and Jayne (from Dick Pond Athletics in Elmhurst)

What a busy fun time I had in the Chicago area this past week! I flew from Austin into Chicago's O'Hare airport and arrived around 4 PM on Monday, that is one busy place! After grabbing my luggage, I jumped into a shuttle van with 10 others and we headed for downtown Chicago. Leaving the airport for downtown that time of the day is never ideal, but with it raining, that makes it even worse! It took us a hour and fifteen minutes just to get to downtown because of the traffic! I was suppose to be at Fleet Feet Sports - Piper's Alley for a group fun run at 6:30, but it was 6:45 when I finally arrived. I quickly said hi to Dave Shelbourne, Jen Kelly, and Ha-Lee all from New Balance and then changed into my running gear and out the door we went for a easy 4 mile run along Chicago's lakefront.

After our run I gave a 45 minute talk to all who were there and afterwards signed New Balance posters and copies of my book, Staying the Course, A Runner's Toughest Race, for whoever wanted them. Afterwards we went out for dinner with some of the Fleet Feet staff to Twin Anchors, I had the best ribs I've ever had! Jen then took myself, Dave, and Ha-Lee to our hotel in Naperville, Illinois, west of Chicago. By the time I crawled into bed it was 12:30, I was whooped!

I got up real early for a nice run and then met everyone at 8 for our first stop of the day Runner's High N' Tri in Arlington Heights. Mark Rouse is one of the owners along with his wife Pom and dear friend Teresa. I've been fortunate over the last couple of years to have become good friends with Mark and have been at his store twice before to do some talks. They have a great store that caters to both runner's and triathletes. After our nice visit it was off to Elmhurst to meet with Jayne and staff at Dick Pond Athletics, from there we headed to the Fleet Feet Store a few blocks away and met with the staff and had some lunch (I was hunnnnngry!) Afterwards we headed to Palantine and met with Eric, Maureen, and Tim from Running Unlimited a very nice running specialty store.

It was then back to Naperville and we had a great dinner with Naperville Running Co. owner Kris Hartner and some of his staff. Kris is a Minnesota boy and I actually had met Kris back in 1982 after the Boston Marathon when he was a 16 year old working at a running store in the Minneapolis area. After our dinner we went to his store and I gave a hour talk to his staff. Kris has a awesome store and has consistently been one of the top running specialty stores in the country! After my talk I signed New Balance posters for everyone and then headed back to our hotel.

Wednesday morning up early for a nice run and then we were back on the road by 8. Our first stop was at the Dick Pond Athletics corporate headquarters, where I gave a talk to their managers, it went very well and we all had a wonderful visit!

We then were off to the Running for Kicks store and met with owner Mel Diab and his staff and other folks who were at the store. We all had a little lunch and I told a few stories and then it was time to head to North Central College and speak with the men's XC team. I gave about a 45 minute talk. I was really impressed with these young men and their coaches! They are one of the top college XC teams in the NCAA Division III, after my talk, every one of the runners and coaches came up and shook my hand and personally thanked me for coming to speak to them, that was something!

We then had a short break back to our hotel and then it was out for a quick dinner and then off to Neuqua Valley High School for my final talk of my trip. You talk about a beautiful high school!

I spoke to around a 100 or so boy and girl cross country runners along with many coaches and parents. My talk went very well and afterwards I signed many New Balance posters, books and we took lots of pictures. All of the dollars that came from my books we sold all went to the Dick Beardsley Foundation, and for every book I sold at the Neuqua Valley High School, Kris Hartner from Naperville Running Co. matched each book in dollars sold!

I can't thank all of the folks we met in the Chicago area enough for allowing me to come and visit and speak to them, they are all doing a marvelous job!

A huge thanks for my good friend Dave Shelbourne from New Balance, and to the New Balance Elite Dealer rep Jen Kelly, for setting up the schedule and helping make it all happen. Jen is the New Balance rep for running specialty stores in Illinois and Wisconsin and does one heck of a great job! To all of you, keep up the incredible job you all do and thanks again for letting me be a part of it!

October 19, 2008

Kansas City Marathon

I was in Kansas City back in 1990 to speak at the Kansas City Marathon, it was a wonderful event, but the Kansas City Marathon in 2008 was incredible! Many changes have been made since 1990 and one of the biggest was the title sponsor Waddell & Reed Financial Advisors.

I arrived in Kansas City on Wednesday afternoon and race volunteer, Lisa Fleming picked me up, what a wonderful person she is! I stayed at the host hotel, the Kansas City Hyatt Regency.

Thursday morning I was up early for a run and then Lisa picked me up at 8:30 and we headed for Waddell & Reed. I gave a talk to many of the 250+ volunteers from Waddell and Reed. It is absolutely amazing to me that so many volunteers from one company come out to support the runners! Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, Bob Williams introduced me after saying a few words to his staff. Bob was so excited they were involved with the race and is a very motivating person himself!

I gave a 30 minute talk that went very well and helped with handing out door prizes to everyone that was there.

After my talk at Waddell & Reed, I met the kids race director Steve Koranda who took me over to the Nobles Prentis Elementary School where I spoke to all the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. I love talking to the kids as they are all so wide eyed! The kids were great and had many questions after my talk!

After my visit to to the school I headed back to the hotel and the race expo where I said a few words to everyone as the expo opened.

Lisa then picked me up and we headed over to the Johnson County Community College where I spoke to high school cross-country runners and their coaches and parents. My talk went very well and afterwards I answered questions and had pictures taken.

Friday morning I was up early for a run and then off to the race expo where I gave a talk at 10:15 and answered questions, right after my talk I went and spent time in the Runner's Edge booth signing books and talking to many of the people attending the expo.

From 5-7 PM they had their pasta dinner, the $15.00 price tag was a great bargain as they had a wonderful pasta dinner! At 6 PM I gave my keynote talk to a packed pasta dinner crowd and it went very well. Afterwards I signed books and chatted with many of the folks and had lots of pictures taken.

Saturday morning I was up very early for a run. I was scheduled to run in the half marathon but because of the knee injury I have (surgery is set for Nov. 17) I decided against it. I can run without too much trouble if I keep it slow and not to far. I knew if I entered the half the competitive juices would start flowing and that would not be good for my knee! The race started at 7 on a clear cool morning. I arrived around 6:45 and met Bob Williams from Waddell & Reed. I was asked to say a few words to the 7000+ runners they had, they were fired up to get going!

Not only do they have a full marathon but also a half marathon, marathon relay, 5K, and a 1.2 mile kids run. They had over 500 kids participating! That was so exciting to see all the kids!

I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone that made my visit possible, but especially Lisa Fleming (volunteer extraordinaire!) and Bob Williams (from the title sponsor Waddell & Reed) You folks really know how to put on a incredible fun event, keep up the GREAT work you do!

October 14, 2008

Royal Victoria Marathon

Laura presenting me with a beautiful drawing!

Dylan was wonderful to meet at the Pasta Dinner

Laura and Jill

Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens

Rob Reid and I at Frontrunners

What a gorgeous city Victoria, BC is! I've been to the Royal Victoria Marathon three times now to speak, but it was my wife Jill's first time and she also loved it! We took off from Austin last Thursday morning and flew to Denver, then onto Vancouver, then finally landed in Victoria. My good friend and race director Rob Reid picked us up at the airport and we headed to the VIP reception. Rob is one busy guy! He owns Frontrunners Footwear, a running specialty store, the New Balance running specialty store, and is also running for Mayor of Victoria! I've known Rob for a number of years, and he would be a outstanding mayor for the City of Victoria!

After the VIP reception, Rob took us back to our hotel to check in. We stayed at The Fairmont Express Hotel, what a beautiful place!!!

Friday morning Rob and I went for a nice easy run along the ocean front then after breakfast, Jill and I went to Rob's Frontrunners store where they were having a press conference for the race.

Afterwards, one of Robs good friends, Brian, took Jill and I to Butchart Gardens.......unbelievable! If your ever to Victoria it's, the gardens are a must see!

At 3, I helped Rob open the beginning of the expo, there were people lining outside the door waiting to get in! I gave my first talk at the expo at 4:30 and it went very well! Friday evening Jill and I went out with our good friends Mark and Jenny Stinson from Chicago/Boise. Mark was getting ready to run his first marathon in almost 5 years, we enjoyed a great meal and even better conversation.

Saturday morning up early for a easy run, then over to Frontrunners where I delivered a talk to some of the folks that were in a training program to get ready for the race. We had a lot of fun and took lots of pictures. After our talk, we went over to the showing of Spirit of the Marathon. What a great movie this is! Afterwards, Jill and I found a nice little cafe where we had breakfast. There are neat little cafes on every corner and they all seem to have great food!

I gave my next talk at the expo at 12:45 to a full house, the crowd was wonderful, afterwards I spent about a hour at the Russell Books booth and signed books and took pictures with folks, really enjoyed that!

Jill and I had a little time to explore downtown Victoria before we had to be at the pasta dinner at 6. You talk about a incredible pasta dinner, I think its probably the best one I've ever been to! It was sold out with about 300 people. New Balance provided over 30 door prizes and I also gave a short 15 minute talk and had everyone fired up for the race on Sunday.

Sunday morning I got up early and did a easy 5 miler and met Jill back at the hotel at 7AM to get her warmed up for the 8K race she was going to run. They had almost 2500 runners in that race. Jill wanted to break 50 minutes and she smashed it with 47:17, and I am very proud of her! I ran it with her and she did awesome! She was racing her friend in Austin, Laura Nye, who was doing a 5 mile race at the same time. Laura had her game face on and beat her, running 45:41.

After the 8K, we had a quick breakfast then headed on over for the start of the kids 1K run. They had over 900 kids on a perfect morning for running! We then went down to the finish area and helped with making sure all the kids got paired back up with their parents.

We then spent some time at the finish line watching the marathoners and half marathoners come in.

Jill and I had a wonderful time and would like to thank everyone that made our visit such a special one! A very special thanks goes out to Rob Reid, Cathy, Laura, Brian and Norma, Steve King, and of course the great folks at New Balance for making our trip all possible!

If you're looking for a beautiful fall get away to run a marathon, the Royal Victoria Marathon is the place to be! Next year will be their 30th anniversary so I'm sure it will be extra special!

Here are all of the pictures that we took this weekend!

October 8, 2008

Team Spiridon

Last night for the second year in a row, I had the chance to spend time with Team Spiridon here in Austin. Rob Hill is the founder and director of Team Spiridon. Team Spiridon is a training group here in Austin that gets folks ready to compete in races from 5K's to marathons and triathlons!

Rob does a great job with this group and he is a huge supporter of the Dick Beardsley Foundation!

We met last night at a wonderful restaurant called Little Mexico 6:15 and headed out for a nice 3 mile room with many of the group including my wife Jill. It was a beautiful evening for a nice run!

After our run we enjoyed each others company and a great meal, then it was time for me to speak. My talk went well and I really appreciate everyone for coming out and supporting Rob and the Dick Beardsley Foundation!

After my talk I sold and signed copies of my book "Staying the Course" and had a nice visit with many of the members of Team Spiridon.

Many in the group are training to run the Austin Marathon in February, Team Spiridon members will also be raising money for two different charities, one of those being the Dick Beardsley Foundation! I can't tell you how much that means to Jill and I!

Thanks Rob and Team Spiridon for a wonderful evening, keep up the awesome work!

October 6, 2008

Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon

What a wonderful time I had at the Lakefront Marathon in Milwaukee! I arrived on Thursday afternoon and was picked up by race volunteer Dennis Wantland. Dennis made sure I got everywhere I needed to be during my visit. I can't thank Dennis and his wife Julie for everything they did for me, you talk about nice people!

Besides being in Milwaukee as their invited guest to speak, I also had been training all summer long to race the Lakefront Marathon, needless to say I was very excited, although my excitement to run was a little tempered because I had hurt my knee a couple of weeks before, not running, but goofing around in the Atlantic Ocean and I got hit in the right knee by a big wave! My doctor said I could give the race a try and see what happens, more on that later!

Friday I was up early for a nice easy 3 mile run as I was in my last couple of days tapering. It was then down to the lake front where I was greeted by 2000 Milwaukee elementary school kids who were there to get pumped up about leading a healthy active lifestyle! I, along with some others, got up on the stage and said a few words and then it was off for a mile and a half walk with all the kids, it was wonderful!

Friday afternoon I had the opportunity to speak a couple of times to a large group of students at Brookfield East High School and the boys and girls cross-country teams, the kids were super! A big thanks to teacher and Coach Kim who helped make it all possible!

After my high school talks it was back over the the Lakefront Marathon Expo and I gave a short talk along with Jen who is from the Detroit, Michigan area and has a written program for getting kids into a running program.

Friday night it was on to In-Step Running for a VIP reception for many of the team leaders who help with volunteering for the race. We had a wonderful time, I told a few stories, had pictures taken, and answered questions from the folks that were there.

Saturday morning Dennis picked me up at 6:30 and it was off to the local FOX TV station for a interview, then back to the expo center and a nice fun run with about 10 other folks for about 3 miles then off for my favorite meal of the day, breakfast!

Saturday afternoon I gave two different talks to a full house, sold and signed books and had a super time just chatting with people!

On Saturday evening it was out to supper with Dennis and Julie along with others including race director Kris Hinrichs. What a energized person Kris is! She along with her volunteers do a amazing job!

Sunday morning was the perfect day for a marathon! They were talking rain but not til later in the day. Dennis picked me up at 6:30 and off we went, north to the Grafton, Wisc. high school. The race started there and the school was open for everyone to get into before the race started.

At 8AM the gun was fired and off we went on a gorgeous morning! It was about 42 degrees, sunshine and no wind! I felt really good for the first 5-6 mile and was in a nice group of guys running 6:15-6:20 pace. By 7 miles my right knee started to really bother me, by 8 miles I noticed a limp, by 9 I'm really hobbling, and at 10 miles my day was done! Running means to much to me to try and hobble in just to finish and perhaps really wreck my knee, so I saw race volunteer Judy and she was kind enough to give me a ride back to my hotel.

The hot shower along with breakfast felt good, and then it was over to the finish area to help with the awards.

I had such a great time in Milwaukee! Thanks to everyone who made my trip there such a memorable one!

If any of you are looking for a great fall race, that is not too big, really well organized, and is run on a beautiful course, the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon is the one to run!

October 1, 2008

Lake Tahoe Marathon

Robert E. Decelle family. Mom Ludine, and her daughters, April and Karen

As you can see by the title, it says Lake Tahoe Marathon, that's only a small part of the great things happening there! I've known race director Les Wright for a number of years seeing him at many race expo's throughout the year. Last week I was the guest speaker at his races, what a wonderful time I had!

I flew from Austin into Reno, Nevada and then took a bus for the one and a half hour trip to South Lake Tahoe. I stayed at the Horizon Casino Resort which is in Nevada but only two blocks from California! It's a two hours time change so by the time I got in and unpacked I was whooped from traveling all day!

Wednesday morning it was up early for a track workout, I was a little worried about the altitude (6500 feet) and how it would affect my workout. I wore my heart rate monitor and to my surprise, it was like I was running back home in Austin! (It really hit me the next day though!) After my track work out I went to Les's home where I did a fun run on the mountain trails with Les and a bunch of other runners that were in town, it was gorgeous!

The rest of Wednesday was spent walking around town and doing a little sightseeing.

Thursday morning I was up early for a nice run, and my quads were killing me! It felt like I had just got done running a downhill marathon! I was later told by my good friend Bart Yasso from Runners World Magazine that because I had done a hard workout the day before in high altitude that's why my quads felt the way they did, makes sense to me! After my morning run I quickly jumped into the car and went to the local golf course where I was the invited guest to play 18 holes of speed golf! In speed golf you can carry up to 3 clubs and you run the course. I played with just one club (5 iron) and at 9AM I took my first shot and off I went! It was the most fun I'd ever had playing golf! It took me just a little over 45 minutes and I shot 116 for 18 holes, I should play golf like that all the time!

Thursday evening I was the guest speaker at the "Triple Marathon" banquet. What's the Triple Marathon you might be asking? On Friday they run a marathon, on Saturday they run a marathon, then on Sunday they run their last one as part of the regular Lake Tahoe Marathon! Then there was the Super Triple......a marathon Friday, marathon Saturday, then at midnight Saturday they ran the entire 72 miles around Lake Tahoe!!!

My talk went very well and I had everyone laughing and nice and loose for their big endeavor over the next few days.

Friday was another nice sightseeing day for me, the Lake Tahoe area is stunning in its beauty!

Saturday I gave two different talks at the race expo then on Saturday night was a guest on the "Pasta Cruise" out on Lake Tahoe for the runners....incredible! While at one of my talks I met April Carter along with her sister Karen and their mom Ludine. We got to talking about things and I find out that her dad is Robert E. Decelle, it made the hair on the back of my head stand up and I got goose bumps! In 1982 I was awarded the Robert E. Decelle Award for the outstanding distance runner in the United States. That award has always meant a lot to me but even more now that I know who the man really is and what its all about! Here is a little information on Robert E. Decelle and his brave son, I'm very touched!

Captain Robert DeCelle Jr.
Robert Jr.

Born in 1945, Bobby was always active in a variety of activities. He earned his Eagle Scout award, outstanding track runner for Alameda High School, running 1:58 in 880 and 4:20 for the mile. He served as a Missionary to Japan for the LDS church and upon his return was drafted into the army in 1966. Bobby graduated from Officers Candidate school in 1967, attended flight schools for helicopters in 1968. In 1970 he was assigned to So. Vietnam, where he was awarded the Bronze Star with 5 palms.

On February 15, 1971 while attempting to draw fire away from ground troops, his helicopter came under heavy fire. Though he was critically wounded, he managed to fly from the scene, saving his crew members and his helicopter. He was awarded the Silver Star, National Order of Vietnam, and the Purple Heart award. He passed away February 21, 1971 in Bien Hoa due to complications from his injuries. The Lake Tahoe Relay was then named in his memory.

Vietnam fort named in honor of Robert Jr.
Robert DeCelle Sr. Marking the Course

Robert E. De Celle, Sr. Robert E. De Celle Sr., De Celle Memorial Tahoe Relay founder and president, passed away in 1997, two weeks after the 33rd annual relay had taken place. He was 78 years old. Bob was an active participant in the sport of running for all of his adult life. His interest was kindled when he discovered the running talent of his son. Robert, Jr., for whom the Relay was named, after he died of wounds received in Vietnam.

He began a long career in the administrative areas in U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country through many position in the AAU. Some of his accomplishments included: Traveling over 10,000 miles to measure and certify courses, such as the Dipsea, and reinstating the Bay-to Breakers. He increased the number of long distance events from 10 to 46 in the PA AAU, and campaigned to allow women to compete in distance events.

Bob was an Administrative Assistant at the 1968 & 1972 Olympic Games, Team leader to World Cross Country Championships in Morocco and South East Asia, and Liaison Officer to the Pan American games in Columbia. He was meet Director for the Oakland Indoor Invitational, and the list goes on…

Bob was also active his entire adult life in the Boy Scouts of America, earning his Silver Beaver, and in improving his beloved city of Alameda, Ca.

The De Celle family feel that Bob's most significant contribution to running was his devotion to high school athletes and their programs, in improving the quality of these programs, and in making sure that the high school arena had a voice in the sport at large.
Bob's spirit and influence will live on in the De Celle Memorial Tahoe Relays in this year, and in the years to come. We will miss him!

Bob's daughter April Carter will serve as the race director.

What a incredible family!

Sunday morning it was up early for a nice 12 mile trail run in the forest and then time for me to take the bus back to Reno for my flight home.

My huge thanks goes out to Les and his staff for the wonderful time I had! I once put on a 10K race years ago and said never again, that's a lot of work!

For Les and his staff that would be like going on a vacation! Here is a list of the events they put on over a period of 3 days:

Friday: Kayak and Swim
Saturday: Bike, Tahoe Triple, Tahoe Super, Triple A la Cart and Marathon
Sunday: 5k, 10k, Half Marathon, 20 Miler, Marathon, 72 Mile Ultra, Triple Marathon,
Marathon Relay, Swim Triathalon and Kayak Triathlon

Thanks again Les, keep up the great work you do promoting health and fitness, you are a true winner and inspiration!


September 21, 2008

Society of American Florists 124th Annual Convention, Palm Beach, Florida

Beautiful Sunrise
Beautiful flowers from Columbia that was presented to me
Where Jill and I were all day!
If not at the pool, we were here!
Jill and I

My wife Jill and I caught a very early 5:30 AM flight from Austin and landed in Palm Beach around noon on Tuesday Sept. 16. We picked up our rental car and headed for the Hilton Hotel on the beautiful Atlantic Ocean and headed right for the beach, you talk about incredible blue water! I enjoyed the beach with Jill for a couple of hours then went back to our room to get ready for a run. I hit the roads around 3:30 PM, I thought it was hot and humid in Austin, my gosh it pales in comparison to Palm Beach!
I did a 10 mile loop around this large inlet from the ocean, thank goodness I was able to get water a couple of times during my run! My 10 mile run went well but I got a large blister on the ball of my left foot, I'd forgotten my orthotics at home and had to wear some new inserts, I developed a hot spot and it turned into a pretty good blister, I won't forget them again!

After my run and shower, Jill and I went out to Charlie's Grill, a small family restaurant that had incredible seafood! A good night sleep, up for a good track workout, and then off to The Breakers where the Society of American Florists 124th Annual Convention was being held.

No doubt The Breakers is the nicest place I've ever stayed before! It's 140 acres right on the Atlantic, which is beautiful! As we were driving down the lane to The Breakers, it was breathtaking! Jill was so excited that she was hyperventilating!

After unpacking we went and toured the grounds, five swimming pools, 18 hole golf course, beautiful white sand beach, and stunning buildings!
We then changed into our swimsuits and spent the next few hours on the beach and near one of the pools, the ocean was so blue and the water was around 85 degrees.

Wednesday night I had a chance to check out the ballroom where I would be giving a talk the next morning as the Keynote Speaker. We then went for dinner with Blanche of Powell, Kohne Associates. She is the one that booked me as the keynote speaker, what a very nice down to earth person! As Jill says, she's adorably cute. After dinner it was back to our room where I finished going over my talk for the next morning.

Thursday morning I was up very early for a nice run and to get ready for my talk. We arrived at the ballroom at 6:45 AM for a sound check and I got to meet some of the great folks from the Society of American Florists.

Things got underway at 7 with a wonderful breakfast and a short awards program, then it was time for my keynote address. My talk went very well and what a great group of folks it was to talk too! I always have butterfly's before I speak and this time was no different, once I started speaking the butterfly's were gone and now it was down to business!

The nice thing about doing a talk early in the morning is I now had the rest of the day to enjoy the beautiful Breakers! Jill and I spent the rest of the day by the pool and the beach and really enjoyed ourselves! I went for a nice afternoon run and then Jill and I dined on some more great seafood!

When we returned to The Breakers, we had the chance to go into the ballroom that was full of the most beautiful flowers and arrangements we have ever seen! The aroma of all those flowers was amazing!
Thursday morning I was up at 3:30 for my morning run along a road that went parallel to the ocean, the moon was almost full and it was gorgeous!

No cars, no people, just me and the ocean! It was then off to the airport for our flight back home to Austin.
I can't thank the Society of American Florists enough for having me as their keynote speaker! Jill and I had a wonderful time! We met some wonderful hard working people, keep up the great work you all do!

Thanks again for the incredible time Jill and I had!
P.S.S. I can't for the life of me figure out how to make the paragraphs from looking spaced wrong. Please just ignore!

September 15, 2008

New Balance Elite Dealer Conference & More

Moose and Jacoby!
Dave Shelbourne and Dan Green of New Balance
Fenway Stadium!
Maudsley State Park
Surprise Katrina!
Big Pig!

The fine folks at New Balance continue to amaze me at their support of specialty running stores across the country! Last Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, New Balance hosted their annual Elite Dealer Meeting in Boston at Hotel Commonwealth. Over 100 elite dealers were there to learn about the new products coming out and how to make their stores that much better and what a success the meeting was!

My wife Jill and I arrived around midnight on Tuesday. I got up and did a beautiful 10 mile run along the Charles River, we had a nice breakfast and it was off to the meetings. Last year I gave a talk, this year I signed beautiful posters that New Balance had made showing me winning the 1981 Grandma's Marathon. I signed posters for about 3 hours while Jill took pictures with me and many of the elite dealers.

Wednesday night we all walked over to Fenway Park to watch the Red Sox play the Tampa Bay Rays. What an awesome ball park with so much history! Jill and I feasted on ball park food then took our seats with our good friends Dave and Ivette Shelbourne along with their daughter Katrina, you talk about Red Sox fans, the Shelbournes are the biggest!

What a game it was! It was all tied up at 1-1 after nine innings. Jill and I stayed until the 12th inning and then left as it was getting late. We watched the finish on TV from our hotel room and unfortunately, the Red Sox came out on the short end.

Thursday morning I was up bright and early for a 11 mile run with folks from the elite dealer conference, what a gorgeous morning for a run! After our run Jill and I took the train back to the airport where we rented our car and headed for Newburyport, MA

But before we went there, we stopped off at the New Balance Factory Store in Lawrence, MA; Jill now has more NB clothes than I do!

We stopped in for a quick visit to Whirlaway Sports for a quick hello to the owner, Dave. What a great store!

Newburyport is a splendid small town right on the ocean about 30 miles north of Boston. We checked into the quaint bed and breakfast place called the Essex Street Inn. Newburyport is a big tourist town and has many neat shops to go and browse around! I can see why people think New England is one of the most beautiful areas of the country!

After checking in, Jill and I both went out for a nice run and then off to dinner. We went to Michael's Harborside, it's right on the ocean and we had a marvelous dinner of fresh seafood.

Friday morning Jill and I went to Maudslay State Park for a great run on the trails through the forest, it was beautiful. After a nice breakfast we went over to the Shelbourne's and spent the afternoon with Ivette, Katrina, and their son Justin. Jill and I surprised Katrina by showing up at her elementary school. Jill had bought her a bouquet of flowers, Katrina was thrilled! Katrina and Jill started being pen pals last April, she just loves receiving things in the mail from Jill!

We then went over to Ipswich High School to pick up Justin and talk with Barry the principal.

I signed a one of the posters that New Balance had made just for the high school and gave it to Barry. I met Barry last April when I gave a talk at his school, he does a great job with the kids there!

After picking up Justin, we then went to Russell's Orchard and had homemade pastries and cider, walked through the barnyard area and fed the 700 pound pig an apple, boy was he big! Better the apple then me!

It was then onto Crane Beach. We walked along the beach and collected shells and took many pictures. Back to our B & B for a short rest then onto the Black Cow Restaurant for a great meal with the Shelbourne family.

Saturday morning I was up early to get my last 20 miler in before the Lakefront Marathon in Milwaukee that I will be running on October 5. I took off from Newburyport and crossed the Merrimac River and ran all along the river. I crossed a very old bridge at 10 miles and then ran back on the other side all the way into Newburyport, I have to say it was one of the most beautiful 20 mile runs I've ever been on!

After a nice breakfast with Jill and a little shopping in town, it was off to the Shelbourne's for a afternoon of visiting and a nice walk down to principal Barry's and his wife, principal Cheryl's house. What a place! Their home is a neat old farm house along with a mill that was built back in the late 1600's! It's incredible! A beautiful small river goes through their property and they are working on getting the mill working again soon and it will generate electricity not only for their home but also will provide electricity for some of the folks that live in the town of Rowley!

Saturday evening we were out to dinner with the Shelbourne's and some of their friends for some great pizza and to watch the Red Sox game. After supper we said our good byes and we went back to the Essex Street Inn for a good nights sleep and up early the next morning for a nice run in the rain and for our flight back home to Austin.

Jill and I would like to give the biggest of thanks to the folks at New Balance for making it possible for us to be there and take part in the Elite Dealer Meetings!

A double gigantic thank you goes out to Dave, Ivette, Justin, and Katrina Shelbourne for making our few days in Newburyport so special! Jill and I are so fortunate to have such wonderful friends like all of you!

Thanks a million!

P.S. Hi to Moose and Jacoby!

Big Pig Eating!

September 8, 2008

The Dick Beardsley Half Marathon, Half Marathon Relay, 5k, and kids race

Kid's Race!

What can I say other then it just continues to get bigger and better every year! On September 6 we had the 13th annual Dick Beardsley Half Marathon, Half Marathon Relay, 5K, and Kids Race's in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. Like many things in my life that may have my name on it, it's not because of me that they are so successful, it's the people that do most of the work and so believe in the cause!

Thirteen years ago, friends David Burd and Mark Fritz came to me with an idea of putting on a half marathon in Detroit Lakes, I thought it was a great idea! They were asking me about what we should name it, I came up with all kind of names, none of which had my name on it! David and Mark asked if it would be OK if they used my name, I was taken aback but very honored!

That first year we had a couple of hundred runners and now in its thirteenth year nearly 2000! The whole community gets involved and excited about this early fall race! A few years ago we started bringing in one of the legends to speak at the pasta dinner on the night before our race. Over the years we have had great running legends like Bill Rodgers, Alberto Salazar, Don Kardong, Doug Kurtis, Joanie Benoit Samuleson, Frank Shorter, and this years legend was the incredible Patti Catalano Dillion. These folks are all friends of mine that I have known for years and the fact that they come to our "little race" is really exciting!

One of the traditions each year is on Friday afternoon myself and this year Patti, go and speak to the Detroit Lakes High School XC Team, this year there were even a few runners from the Foley Minnesota HS team! That's 150 miles away!

Friday evening is our pasta dinner and then myself and Patti gave a talk and answered questions from the audience. Saturday morning it was perfect for a race! Clear blue sky's, no wind, and temperatures at the start of around 48 degrees, WOW, what a day!

All of our camper that were at the Dick Beardsley Marathon Running Camp were at the race and boy did many of them clean up during the awards ceremony! I ran the half and ran it at marathon pace instead of really racing it. I'm running the Lakefront Marathon in Milwaukee on October 5 and needed to do a long run with 13 miles of a 17 mile run at marathon race pace. It's hard not to get all caught up in the excitement of the race and run it as such, but I did and was right on marathon pace the whole way. Mary Coordt, one of our coaches at camp outright won the women's division, way to go Mary!

My favorite part of the day is the kids run! They all wear their special designed kids race shirts and they took off like they were doing the 50 yard dash! They run a little over a quarter mile and get to finish in the finish chute, what a thrill on those kids faces when they hear all the spectators cheering for them!

I can't thank enough our race director Brent Wolf and the many many volunteers and sponsors that make this all happen! And to the town of Detroit Lakes, what can I say except you folks are the best! To all the runners that came from all over to support this event, thank you from the bottom of my heart as part of the proceeds from the race will go to the Dick Beardsley Foundation to help those afflicted with chemical dependencies, for that I will be forever grateful!