About Dick Beardsley Races
The Dick Beardsley Marathon is all about Detroit Lakes, MN and the outstanding lakes community supporting this staple race. Sandy beaches, jet skiing, boating, fishing, and a multitude of other activities along with some of the best ‘Lake Cuisine" you’ll ever have, Detroit Lakes has it all!
16 will mark the 21st running of the Dick Beardsley Half Marathon, and the 2nd year of the Dick Beardsley Full Marathon. There will be a plentitude of races that the entire family can participate in – including the Youth Run, 5K Walk/Run, 10K, Half Marathon, Full Marathon & Relay.
First organized in 1996 as a tribute to hometown hero and legendary marathon runner Dick Beardsley, the half marathon & 5K event that bears his name is unique not just for its famous host but also for the famous runners who attend and participate each year, from Carrie Tollefson and Alberto Salazar to Joan Benoit Samuelson and Frank Shorter, who was the marathon gold medalist in the 1972 Summer Olympics and has served as the race’s special guest and speaker in past years.
Following an out-and-back loop course that takes runners around Detroit Lake, from which the city gets its name, the race is run entirely on paved surfaces and features views of the water for nearly the entire route.
The starting line lies at the Pavilion at the City Beach, from which participants make an initial brief run along city blocks northward and then return back to the lakeshore, where they begin the lion’s share of the course that takes them around the lake. Runners will cross the finish line at the City Park, just a stone’s throw from the starting line over at the pavilion area.
The race draws several hundred runners each year for both the half marathon and the 5K, many of whom no doubt come out to experience what’s it like to run with one of the country’s and the world’s true running greats. Beardsley is the two-time winner and still record holder of Duluth’s famous Grandma’s Marathon, and has also won the London and Napa Valley Marathons. He also holds the fifth-fastest men’s marathon time in history (and the fourth-fastest ever in the Boston Marathon, for his 1982 race there).
The city of Detroit Lakes itself is just as much of a draw for runners from outside the local area, as it boasts more than 400 lakes within 25 miles of the city center. This portion of west central Minnesota is a popular spot for vacationers around the Midwest for fishing and bird watching in warm-weather months, and snowmobiling in the winter.
The Dick Beardsley Half makes its 18th annual running in 2013, after a 2012 race that saw just over 1,300 runners cross the finish line in all races combined (including 600 finishers in the individual half marathon alone).