January 28, 2008

American Family Insurance

I flew from Austin early Friday morning and arrived into Sioux Falls, South Dakota around 12:30pm. One of my best friends, who I have known for 30 years, Mike Dunlap picked me up at the airport and we went right to his house, I needed a nap!

After a short nap, I spent the rest of the afternoon working on my talk for the American Family Insurance Banquet that night.

Kent Larson is the District Manager for American Family Insurance for S.E. South Dakota and I met Kent at a American Family Insurance retreat I was speaking at out in Oregon a couple of years ago.

Kent is a great guy and I know why he and the agents in his district do such an awesome job, Kent is one enthusiastic guy! I attended a nice social hour and met most of the agents that were attending the banquet. They had their awards presentation, a wonderful meal and then my talk!

Kent said speak as long as you want! Usually I speak for 45 minutes to an hour, but this time for a hour and 15 minutes!It went by very quickly and they all seemed to really enjoy my talk. (at least I sure hope so!)

The next morning out for a quick 6 mile run in the snow and then back on the plane home for Austin.

Thanks Kent and American Family Insurance for a wonderful visit!

January 24, 2008

City of Austin - Health Fair

On Thursday, I had the wonderful opportunity of speaking to the City of Austin employees who are involved in the city's P.E. program! My good friend, Clemmie Cummins, who works for the city and is one of the P.E. coaches set it all up with the help of my wife, Jill.

There was a Health Fair at City Hall from 11 – 12, then I spoke for about 35 minutes to all those who attended the Fair.

Talk about a great group to speak in front of! They were really into my talk and when that happens it’s like magic for me! I feed off of that like a fire feeding off gasoline.

I can't thank Clemmie and all the folks at the City of Austin for making it all possible, now I am again reminded why Austin is such a great community!


Spirit of the Marathon

What a wonderful movie and what a wonderful time we had!

My wife, Jill, did an incredible job putting together our first Dick Beardsley Foundation fundraiser for this event! A huge thanks goes out to Jill, Rob Hill, Stacey Conley, Laura Nye, Clemmie Cummins, and all the wonderful folks that donated door prizes! We could not have made this happen without all of their hard work!

A big thanks also to all the people that bought tickets for the Spirit of the Marathon through us. Your generous donations will truly help us reach those in need who are struggling with chemical dependencies.

I hope you all enjoyed the movie! As a result of the tremendous response to Spirit of the Marathon's January 24 U.S. nationwide debut, Fathom Events has added an Encore screening on February 21. The second engagement will again take place at 7:30 P.M. local time and will be available in approximately 250 theatres. Tickets are available through Fathom Events

Have a great day!

January 22, 2008

Fargo, North Dakota - A trip back to the cold!

I arrived in Fargo, North Dakota late Friday night, my good friend and partner in our running store Greg Hammes picked me up. When I walked outside of the Fargo Hector International Airport, I almost lost my breath! It was already around 17 degrees below zero! Even though I lived up in that neck of the woods for 51 years, I'd forgotten how cold it can get!

I was up early the next morning and was at the Dick Beardsley Running Company at 5:30 for a nice run on the treadmill, it was 25 below zero outside! So no outside running for me!

At 7, a handful of runners showed up at the store for our first training session to get ready for the Fargo Marathon, Half Marathon, and Marathon Relay that happens in mid May. With temperatures so cold we decided to keep everyone inside and I spoke about how the program works. After we were all done, a few brave souls including Greg and one of our other running store partners Wade Erickson went out for a run. They said with no wind it really wasn't that bad!

Saturday night we had an appreciation night for area high school track and XC coaches, we explained and showed them what we can offer as a store to their teams as far as equipment goes. We had a wonderful time and plenty of refreshments and give-a-ways for all the coaches.Sunday morning was another very cold start to the day, minus 27 degrees below zero!

I'm getting ready for the Napa Valley Marathon in early March so I did my 17 mile run on the treadmill. I worked at the store the rest of the day and enjoyed talking to all the folks that came in the door. We had a busy weekend at our store. That's one thing about the folks from Minnesota and North Dakota, they don't let a little cold weather keep them from doing things!

Sunday evening I had supper with my very close friends Darold and Judy Buchta. They are like a mom and dad to me and Judy is a GREAT cook! Darold and I enjoyed watching the Packer/Giants football game!

Monday was a day of taking care of some things and visiting with some friends.

The day started off with a nice run and then breakfast with Bob and Lois Peldo of Fargo. Bob and Lois are wonderful folks who I got to know over the years when I had a fishing guide business in Detroit Lakes. I then headed to Detroit Lakes to visit with some good friends, Carmin Close and Lisa Piche in Detroit Lakes.

Carmin has been a good friend of mine for many years, we became friends when I was an announcer at KDLM radio in Detroit Lakes and she was and still is the traffic manager there. Lisa and I did a morning show on the radio for a number of years and we always had a fun and crazy time on the air!

Tuesday morning I gave a talk at Blue Cross/Blue Shield of North Dakota. I did the talk at their headquarters in Fargo. I have spoken to the folks at BCBS a few times over the years, they are wonderful folks and my talk went well. Afterwards it was time to fly back home to Austin!

I had a very busy but fun time in Fargo!

January 14, 2008

Junior Olympics Qualifying Cross Country Ski Races

From January 11-13, I had the pleasure of being at Rainbow Resort north of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota for the U.S. Junior Olympic Qualifying West Itasca Opener event on the diverse and challenging cross-country ski trails at Rainbow Resort.

It's a rare occurrence that the Junior Olympic Qualifier is held in Minnesota, with only the Duluth area hosting an event before and this year's races being the first to be held in Northwest Minnesota. The Junior Olympic Qualifier is for 10-19 year old skiers, both male and female.

Amy Xu along with her husband Mike and Doug and Linda Shumann own Rainbow Resort and it’s one beautiful place! I've been there many times over the years and that is where we have one of our Dick Beardsley Marathon Running Camps each fall You could not find better hosts for all they do!

Over 150 skiers from Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois were competing. You could not have asked for nicer weather for skiing! Light snow fell all three days and the temps were in the high teens above zero and very little if any wind.

I shared announcing duties along with World Class XC skier Chad Geise from Mora, Minnesota. What a talented athlete and nice young man Chad is! One of the biggest XC ski races in the country "The Vassaloppet" is held in Mora every February, Chad is going for his 7th consecutive victory there this year in the 58K freestyle race!

On Saturday the races were 1.5 kilometer sprint races. They had qualifying heats and you moved on based on your time against everyone else. To get to the final you would have had to ski in four races!

The races on Saturday were the classic division then on Sunday the events were either 5K or 10K freestyle or skating as many people call it. Those kids were hauling! The top boys were skiing 10K in under 25 minutes!

The race successfully finished up around 2:30 Sunday afternoon with the awards ceremony. Some of my best friends in the world, Mike and Karen Dunlap, from Sioux Falls were also there to help out with the event and we all had a wonderful time in the snow covered forests of Northern Minnesota!


January 9, 2008

Fort Bend Fit - Sugar Land, Texas

What a wonderful time I had at the Fort Bend Fit Pasta Dinner in Sugar Land, Texas! Fort Bend Fit is part of USA FIT and they have chapters all over the country.

I was the keynote speaker at their Pasta Dinner in preparation for the Houston Marathon pasta dinner.

What a beautiful drive it is from the Austin area over to Sugar Land. Sugar Land is near Houston area, which is about a three hour drive! Lots of trees, along with rolling hills and farmland, I just loved it! Like they say "you can take the boy out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the boy". I passed through Brenham, Texas, which is the home of Blue Bell Creameries!

My host for the event was team leader, Terrie Gorney, she along with her many volunteers, really had the ballroom at the Sweetwater Country Club decorated nicely, almost like a Hollywood Academy Award presentation! The theme for the night “Running with the Stars”...a takeoff of "Dancing with the Stars". Most of the gals wore long dresses and many of the men were wearing tuxes along with running shorts and running shoes, it was quite the sight to see!

The event kicked off at 6:30 and I arrived early and sold and autographed my book "Staying the Course" and John Brant's book "Duel in the Sun". We then had an awesome buffet type dinner of many different pastas, salads, breads, and desserts.

My talk started after dinner and what a ball I had! There were over 300 runners and I really got into my talk and they got into listening and when that happens, it’s like magic for me! I spoke for about 50 minutes. After my talk they gave out some special awards and then I stayed after and signed more books and had a great time chatting to lots of folks.

Thanks to Terrie and the whole gang with Fort Bend Fit, I had a wonderful time!

January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!!

I would like to wish everyone a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2008!

As we look back on 2007, we can reflect on all the wonderful things in our lives and cherish those memories forever!

Many good things have happened to all of us, but also, we all have had some days where it seems like nothing went right and we feel we would be better off if we could just make those days disappear from our minds.

But remember, when we deal with those bad things in our lives in a positive way, it makes the good things seem that much better!

I try and tell myself this every day, when things in your life are going very well, try not to get over excited, but more importantly, when things in your life aren't going so well try not to get too down on yourself or others!

If you stay focused, have a positive attitude, and keep a smile on your face, I promise you that things will get better!

Take care my friends and have a wonderful 2008!

God Bless you all,