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Staying The Course: A Runner's Toughest Race [Paperback]

Dick Beardsley , Maureen Anderson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 19 2004
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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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

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Take a chance on this book. You won't regret it. 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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5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful read! April 28 2003
Format:Hardcover
I started running ~ 2 yrs ago. My wife got me the book, but I hadn't heard of Dick so the book sat. One evening I picked it up to see what it was all about and I was instantly and uncontrollably sucked in. Dick's story starts in HS where he went out for the football team, which lasted a few minutes. Then a friend suggested XC, and Dick fell in love with what turned out to be his calling -- running.
The story refers to 5/10K events, and explains how Dick got into Marathons (a whim). It then follows the course of the multitude of Marathons he ran in.
Dick had his battles in life too, as we all do, a theme that repeated itself. Dick had some very tough times, but in the end he prevailed. Big time!
My friend Mat just got back from Boston Marathon '03; Mat brought back an autograph from Dick for me. Having read his book, and knowing what a great guy Dick is, this will be treasured for years to come.
Net, net, it's a must read.
Rex
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4.0 out of 5 stars Run Tall and Stay Strong March 29 2004
Format:Hardcover
This book is about the life of a runner named Dick Beardsley. It talks about his life goals in running and how he got into a bad habbit of using pain killers. The book takes place in the mainland, and not in a certain place because he traveled a lot to race. See i am a runner so i like the book because it gave me the motivation to go on when the going gets tough. If i compare this book to other book i would say it is not the best running book i have read but, it is better than the other types of books i have read. I think if you are a runner you will really like the book cause it teaches you to be tough in a race and some pointers on how to run marathons. If you do not run i dont think you will have a strong liking with this book. It can get kind of boring a some parts, but the parts that tell about his races really made me want to read on, so if you are a runner i think this book is better for you than if you are not a runner. So be a runner!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Something is Missing Aug. 16 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Perseverance pays off 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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