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!


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