Turn Back the Clock: Grandma's Marathon Record-Holder Dick Beardsley

By KBJR News 1

August 8, 2011 Updated Aug 8, 2011 at 6:44 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- Dick Beardsley ran the 1981 Grandma's Marathon in 2:09:37, faster than anyone ever had before, and faster than anyone ever has since.

That race was the first Grandma's Marathon for Beardsley, who also won in 1982, and he said after the race he thought he might have run a faster time.

"Ar 24 miles, I got a bit of a stomachache," Beardsley said after his record-setting performance, "otherwise I think I would have been in the low two-nines."

Beardsley's record has withstood the test of time for three decades now, but he has said all along that someone will eventually beat his time.

"I've got to admit that it's kind of nice to have and for a Minnesota kid to have it," Beardsley said in 2009, "but it will be broken someday, and I hope I'm the first person at that finish line to shake that person's hand."

A year after setting the record at Grandma's Marathon, Beardsley was involved in what's now known as the "Duel in the Sun."

The 1982 Boston Marathon was perhaps the most riveting road race ever, with the then 24-year-old Beardsley finishing only two seconds behind the winner, Alberto Salazar.

2012 will mark the 30th anniversary of that race, and Beardsley said he plans to be on the starting line.

"I'm trying to run competitively for the 55-59 age group," Beardsley said. "I've got two brand-new knees now, and I'm back training about 70 miles a week, feeling good and very motivated."

Posted by Zach Schneider
zschneider@northlandsnewscenter.com