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!


Dick Beardsley Marathon Running Camp

Camp Coaches and Camp Director
What a great six days we had at the Dick Beardsley Marathon Running Camp! It might have my name on it, but without the hard work from all of our coaches and our camp director Jan Seeley, the camp would not be what it is! The DBMRC was started six years ago by myself and Jan Seeley, my good friend Amy Xu put the bug in my ear about having a running camp at Rainbow Resort north of my old hometown of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. Amy along with her husband Mike and Doug and Linda Schumann own and operate the resort. It sits on the shore of beautiful Little Bemidji Lake, nestled in the pine forests of Northern Minnesota. They have miles of trails to run on in the summer and XC ski on in the winter.

The campers arrived on Tuesday afternoon the day after Labor Day. We had 32 campers this year along with 10 coaches. We keep them quite busy while they are there! We don't make them run lots of miles. Although we run every day, what we try to do during the runs and the seminars is to show them things and give them ideas that they can take back home with them and use to become more goal orientated and be more motivated not just with running but with their lives!

The weather was cool which made it nice for sleeping at night and great for running during the days!

All of our coaches do such a outstanding job of giving their seminars in easy to understand ways that we can all learn from!

The neatest part of camp is, that we come in as strangers and we leave as friends! As one camper said a few years ago, "I came to Dick's camp to become a better runner, I left a better person" That my friends is what it's all about!

A huge thank you goes out to all of our campers that came to camp this year, to our coaches Rich Benyo, Mary Coordt, Mike Dunlap, Joe Henderson, Roy Herron, Rhonda Provost, Bill Wenmark, Assistant camp director Jenny Stinson, and camp director Jan Seeley, along with special guests Dr. Steve Moe, Greg Hammes, and camper/coach Bill Latter. Without each and every one of you this camp would not happen!

And last but not least, a huge thank you goes out to Doug and Linda Schumann along with their daughter Lia who as always, did a wonderful job of hosting all of us campers at their beautiful resort and do a incredible job of keeping us all well fed!

I can hardly wait until next year!


September 3, 2008

Wayside Treatment Center

I had the opportunity to give a talk to the folks at Wayside Treatment Center in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. It is an all women's drug and alcohol treatment facility that got started back in 1954.

When I was speaking at Grandma's Marathon this past June, I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Richard Beardsley and his wife. They are from Indianapolis, Indiana and they have a daughter Natalie who is a counselor at Wayside House. So between my wife Jill, Natalie, Michaelene and others at the Wayside House we were able to work it out that I could speak there.

To my great surprise, my dear friends Dr. Dennis and Fern Arne, along with their son Bruce and his friend came to listen to my talk. I grew up with the Arne family and was in 4-H with all their kids. They are some of the most wonderful people and friends a person could ever know!

I gave a talk on life and about not giving up no matter what happens in your life! To always think positive and if you really believe in something to always go after it! Included in my talk was my own battle with narcotic drug addiction. At the conclusion of my talk, I sang a song that I wrote, while I played my guitar. The name of the song is "Thank You Jesus". It was a nice way to end the evening.

I get inspired by so many people, but when I see folks that are trying to get their lives back from addictions, the inspiration I get from that is out of this world!

Thank you ladies for the incredible inspiration you gave me! Keep fighting the good fight!

A huge thank you to my wife Jill, Natalie Beardsley, Michaelene and all the folks at Wayside House for making it all possible!

September 2, 2008

Spirit of the Marathon

My good friends, Jon Dunham and Melissa Leggett, followed their dreams and made a wonderful film about running.

Spirit of the Marathon is the first ever non-fiction feature film to capture the drama and essence of the famed 26.2 mile running event. Filmed on four continents, the movie brings together a diverse cast of amateur athletes and marathon luminaries.

As six unique stories unfold, each runner prepares for and ultimately faces the challenge of the Chicago Marathon. More than a sports movie, Spirit of the Marathon is an inspirational journey of perseverance and personal triumph; a spectacle that will be embraced by runners and non-runners alike.

Spirit of the Marathon is set to be released on DVD on October 7th through Image Entertainment and can be pre-ordered on on the website starting September 8th. I'm sure every running and endurance sports fan out there would love to have this film in their stocking over the Holidays!

Director signed DVD's will be offered on the website only, so please, purchase a copy through there...AND a $2.00 discount through as well.

Like I said in the movie, "When you cross the finish line, it will change your life forever" and so will seeing this movie.