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Staying The Course: A Runner's Toughest Race Paperback – July 19, 2004


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Staying The Course: A Runner's Toughest Race + Duel in the Sun: Alberto Salazar, Dick Beardsley, and America's Greatest Marathon
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Univ Of Minnesota Press; 1 edition (July 19, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0816637598
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816637591
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #602,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"There are faster and more decorated runners than Dick Beardsley, but probably none with a more compelling life story. You'll want to read this book in one big gulp, then return again and again for inspiration both on and off the roads." -New York Runner


"In the long run, Beardsley's book is a winner." -Pioneer Press

Book Description

For a moment Dick Beardsley became the most famous runner in the world by losing a race. In the 1982 Boston Marathon, Beardsley, foiled by a motorcycle that cut him off, finished two seconds behind Alberto Salazar in one of the most memorable contests in marathon history. Staying the Course recounts that race and the difficult years that followed, including his recovery from a near-fatal farm accident, his subsequent addiction to painkillers, and a public arrest for forging prescriptions. His story of overcoming obstacles speaks to anyone who loves competition, who has survived catastrophe, or who has pursued a seemingly impossible goal.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful story told in a humble and motivating way!
Kevin Q
He is a great champion as a runner and as a humanitarian.
A. T. Murray
It might be the best book about running that I have read.
Jonathan Freeman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 18, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I sat down last night and picked up this book thinking I was going to read a few pages and go to bed. I ended up reading the entire thing.
I picked up my copy at the Boston Marathon Expo this year (my first marathon). Dick Beardsley was there and signing copies including mine. He didn't just sign it, but he wrote a personal message in every single one. Took the time to talk to everyone, asked me about my marathon coming up, etc. For several minutes.
So I figured, "OK, he's a nice guy but his book is probably not going to be memorable." But it was. The man thoroughly loved running from the beginning like few people ever do. It fires you up to hear him talk about it. Yes he was talented, but he did an amazing amount of work because he just plain loved it. He simply trained himself to world class level.
My favorite part was how he got shoe company sponsorship. At the time (around 1980) he was not much of a marathoner compared to the talent this country had (back then he'd "only" done 2:20 - fantastic by my standards but not by theirs, I guess). Still, he simply made his way into a shoe convention that was closed to the public and talked to shoe company reps (giving them his resume) until one of them (New Balance) took a chance to him. And when other companies tried to buy him off after he started doing well, he stayed loyal. Just a straight shooter.
I was there (in Wellesley Hills) for his famous "Duel in the Sun" with Salazar. His description of the race is worth the price alone. At the time he'd done 2:09 but most people didn't know who he was. We all knew about Alberto Salazar and Bill Rodgers, but "Beardsley?" Who was that? Yet here he was, this unknown, taking it right to the best marathoner in the world for the entire race. Never giving an inch.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a book for any running aficionado (especially the veterans), who has gone out there and run distance. It's also a great story and inspiration for anybody who has run a marathon and in particular Boston. The mass start in Hopkinton, the crowds, the cheers at Wellesley, Heartbreak Hill in Newtown, coming through the Fenway, and on to the finish at the Boston Public Library. The 1982 race was perhaps the best one ever run and Beardley took us back there in the first person. Beardley takes any runner to the soul of this sometimes underappreciated sport. Spectacular!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 16, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This story of a great runner who had to face many of life's adversities left me wanting. From the start I had the feeling many parts of his life were being glossed over (What did it feel like to grow up in that house? Why did he quit college? How did he meet his wife?). The racing and training sequences were great. The section on his Boston Marathon was outstanding. When his injuries force him to give up running the narative gets choppy again and seems to lack insight. The farm accident was interesting, enlightening and horrifying. Much more could have been done with his descent into the world of drug addiction and the pain it caused his family (it may have been me but I never got a feel for his wife and son ). I did enjoy this book . Dik Beardsley seems like a great guy. It is an extremely fast read but it left me feeling it could have been much better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Volkman on July 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Dick Beardsley appeared at the Grandma's Marathon in June 2002 where I heard him speak. He was so inspiring, I decided to buy his book. He graciously signed each book and talked to each person as if you were his new best friend.
His book is a reflection of his friendly personality and the intensity he brings to whatever he does. He recounts some great anecdotes including how he secured a running sponsership and how he had no choice but to run over a child when he won Grandma's Marathon in 1981. Then he touchingly describes the numerous accidents he experienced, his subsequent addictions to pain pills, and the struggles to overcome them.
Inspiring for both runners and non-runners. Beardsley is the kind of guy who has what it takes to perserve and make bad into good. His book will get you fired up to do so yourself.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Fargorunner on August 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I'm fortunate enough to be a Minnesota runner who has followed Dick's life since he first started well after college. How he got there was fascinating to me. It is a testament to the human will to see a person that faces such adversity, some perchance and some self-imposed, and to bounce back. He is still running, after all this. I've bought this book for other runners and I always get the same response "I read it more than once".
I'm not a big reader, but I read this and was rivetted. I challenge anyone, runner or non-runner, to buy this and finish it without being changed a little.
My hat's off to Dick and Mary Beardsley (Mary for sticking it out).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 16, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I met Dick at the Fargo Marathon Expo a couple of weeks ago. At the time I didn't really know who he was except for a famous marathoner who's running career was way before my time. After the Marathon I came home and looked him up and within minutes, I ordered this book. When it came I sat down and read it in one sitting. It kept me on the edge of my seat for every page! What an amazing athlete and an even greater person! This is an amazing story that every runner (or any athlete for that matter) should read. After his numerous horrific accidents, endless injuries, and countless surgeries this man still chooses to do what he loves: run. It is truly an inspiring story. I wish I would have read this before I met Dick but I look forward to seeing him again and having my copy signed at The Dick Beardsley Half Marathon this Fall.
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