UPDATE: Marathoner Dick Beardsley speaks to local high school runners

UPDATE:

On Thursday, high school cross country runners from the area got to visit with former world marathoner Dick Beardsley.

They met up at Lincoln High and after a run around the track, they heard Beardsley speak in the auditorium.

He told them before he competed in the London and Boston marathons, cross country was his first sport.

"I was terrible," Beardsley said.  "And so I talk about that and how I kind of got started and kind of moved up the ladder and got further in running than I ever, ever dreamed of what I got when I first started running."

But things weren’t always good for Beardsley.

More than twenty years ago, following a string of accidents and surgeries, he became addicted to painkillers.

"I mean, it was to the point where I was stealing drugs from my dad, who was dying of cancer," he said.  "I was doctor shopping, I even got to the point where I was forging my own prescriptions."

He said he was eventually caught and went into treatment and has been sober for 22 years since.

Many runners are took something from his story.

"He seems like a great guy and he’s done amazing things, overcoming everything and just a really great runner," said Beatrice junior Colin Hartig.

And that’s what Beardsley wants.

"If I can be a mentor to some of these kids and show them that, you know, life isn’t all peaches and cream, you’re going to face some adversity in your life," Beardsley said.  "But know that you can get through that and get on top of things and life can be as good as you want it to be."

He also said he enjoys talking to younger generations about a sport he continues to love and hopes when they reach his age, they’ll promote it to younger generations too.

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Cross country runners from area high schools got a special visitor Thursday.

They got to meet with former world marathon runner Dick Beardsley at Lincoln High.

After a run around the track, they heard Beardsley speak in the auditorium.  He told them before he competed in the London and Boston marathons, cross country was his first sport.

"I was terrible," Beardsley said.  "And so I talk about that and how I kind of got started and kind of moved up the ladder and got further in running than I ever, ever dreamed of what I got when I first started running."

But things weren’t always good for him.

He also spoke about the struggles and adversity he faced in life, which included drug addiction; and how he overcame them.

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