What a crazy month! Having the opportunity to run not once but twice with Dick Beardsley! Earlier this month I was able to set a new half marathon PR in Detroit Lakes at the Dick Beardsley half Marathon while running with Dick himself. Today, I was able to toe the starting line with Beardsley again. It was the Matt Kjelland Memorial 5k here in Alexandria. What an amazing event for this town. Hit up the link to learn more about the event and Matt, lets make this event even bigger and better next year.
The weekend got off to a killer start with Dick Beardsley speaking on Friday night. While I have listened to him speak once already, I sure as shit wasn't going to pass up this opportunity. For those non-runners or the majority of the population, people would associate Dick with the dual in the Sun at the 1982 Boston marathon. You would also likely assume he lives a great and easy life being an elite athlete. What most don't know about Dick is that he has been through hell and back, a few times over. From car accidents, a near fatal farm accident, falling off a cliff and an addiction to pain pills...all that doesn't come close to what else he has gone through. Mr. Beardsley lost his son due to suicide and that is how he became associated with Mike Kjelland. Mike also lost his son from suicide and with the Beardsley motivational talk to the run/walk on Saturday morning, we celebrated the life of Matt and raised money and AWARENESS for suicide prevention.
With my recent racing success and improved pace, I was hoping to set a new course record at the 5k. Mike has been keeping up with my racing and times and for whatever reason had been talking up my running. Considering back in the day I couldn't run the mile in school without walking and usually was one of the last people to finish, it was crazy to be considered the guy to beat. While I prefer endurance events such as 26.2 or 70.3, I've worked hard to get my 5k speed where it should be. The morning started with some of the loudest thunder I've ever heard and a total monsoon. Luckily for us, the rain stopped and the race started on time. While we were getting through the pre race events, I spotted Joe and knew I was in for a battle. I don't think I've ever beat Joe and today was no different!
We got to the start line and Joe and myself stayed up front along with some younger kids and of course, Dick. The kids took off in blistering speed and the rest of us behaved ourselves and settled into our race pace. We were maybe 1/4 mile into the run and the lead pack of 4 or 5 had passed the kids up as they faded fast and I found myself right behind Joe running at about a 6:10 pace. We made it to the turn around point and Joe had me by 50 feet probably. At this point, I was all in already and just trying not to blow up and give up 2nd place. The good news is that with the pace we were running, the discomfort wasn't going last long. I tried to reel in Joe but just couldn't find that extra gear. If I was going to take second, I have no issues taking 2nd to Joe.
ON THE PLUS SIDE, I DID BREAK THE COURSE RECORD BY ABOUT 2 MINUTES AND 30 SECONDS. THAT WAS MY GOAL REMEMBER!? WELL, THE PROBLEM WAS JOE ALSO BROKE THE COURSE RECORD AND ALSO WAS 11 SECONDS FASTER THAN I WAS. Killer run man!
WHILE IT WOULD HAVE BEEN FUN TO TAKE 1ST PLACE OVERALL, THE BIGGER PICTURE WAS THAT WE WERE ABLE TO RAISE FUNDS AND AWARENESS FOR THE MATT KJELLAND FOUNDATION AND FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION AND AWARENESS. CAN'T WAIT TILL NEXT YEARS RUN! WHILE I JOKE ABOUT RACING DICK TWICE THIS MONTH AND BEATING HIM BOTH TIMES, YOU WON'T FIND A NICER GUY OR SOMEONE WHO ENJOYS RUNNING MORE. HE MY HAVE LOST SOME OF HIS SPEED BUT WAS ABLE TO RACK UP SOME IMPRESSIVE STATS THROUGHOUT HIS CAREER. BEARDSLEY TRULY HAS OVERCAME DIVERSITY AND WITH THE HELP OF MIKE, ONE CAN ONLY HOPE WE WERE ABLE TO SAVE A FEW LIVES TODAY.
Take a few moments and see what this Beardsley guy is all about! I might be biased but I'll say it again. The people I have crossed paths with from running and triathlon are some of the nicest and most INSPIRATIONAL people I know. I'm sure someone a lot smarter than me could lend some insight but us endurance athletes are special breed.
WORK HARD. STAY HUMBLE. A LIFE FILLED WITH SWIM, BIKE & RUN. 5Ks TO MARATHONS, SPRINT TO IRONMAN 140.6