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Duel in the Sun: Alberto Salazar, Dick Beardsley, and America's Greatest Marathon
     

Duel in the Sun: Alberto Salazar, Dick Beardsley, and America's Greatest Marathon

by John Brant, Leslie L.Cooper
 

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The 1982 Boston Marathon was great theater: Two American runners, Alberto Salazar, a celebrated champion, and Dick Beardsley, a gutsy underdog, going at each other for just under 2 hours and 9 minutes. Neither man broke. The race merely came to a thrilling, shattering end, exacting such an enormous toll that neither man ever ran as well again. Beardsley, the most

Overview

The 1982 Boston Marathon was great theater: Two American runners, Alberto Salazar, a celebrated champion, and Dick Beardsley, a gutsy underdog, going at each other for just under 2 hours and 9 minutes. Neither man broke. The race merely came to a thrilling, shattering end, exacting such an enormous toll that neither man ever ran as well again. Beardsley, the most innocent of men, descended into felony drug addiction, and Salazar, the toughest of men, fell prey to depression. Exquisitely written and rich with human drama, Duel in the Sun brilliantly captures the mythic character of the most thrilling American marathon ever run--and the powerful forces of fate that drove these two athletes in the years afterward.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In 1982, Alberto Salazar and Dick Beardsley ran the entire 26.2 miles of the Boston Marathon neck and neck, finishing within two seconds of each other. For both, it was the pinnacle of a running career cut short, for Salazar because of a mysterious malaise, and for Beardsley because of a drug addiction that developed after a farm accident. Brant, a Runner's World writer, weaves the tension of the race into the story of the decline of both runners. He's clearly a running enthusiast; few others would write of the race as "one of the signature moments in the history of distance running-perhaps, in the history of any sport." The story is sad yet triumphant; despite the end of serious running careers, both men made successes of their lives. Brant tells their tales reverently; his style creates distance instead of allowing readers into the runners' heads. While Brant's writing tends to be unfocused and melodramatic (when describing the women watching the marathon, he writes that they sounded "like Zulu women ululating on the hot road to Durban, raging gleeful keening"), runners especially will enjoy the suspense of the race. B&w photo insert. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
The best sports books capture a moment in time. They convey the spirit and hearts of the competitors. They pull you into the event, and its importance becomes vividly clear. Brant, contributing editor to Outside and Runner's World magazines, does all that in this remarkable dual biography of a pair of famous runners who came from very different backgrounds. Interspersed within the description of their fateful Boston Marathon of 1983 are chapters describing each man's journey to that event and what happened to him in the years since. After that time, Dick Beardsley overcame an addiction to pain medication and became a business owner and TV personality in Minnesota. Alberto Salazar, who was diagnosed with long-term asthma, spent years trying to regain his spot atop the marathon elite but never could. Instead he found spiritual awakening in a Croatian village to which he had gone in search of divine healing. In the end, Beardsley and Salazar became friends. Highly recommended for collections on the heyday of running in the United States, as well as public libraries with local interest, and all academic libraries with sports history collections.-Todd Spires, Bradley Univ., Peoria, IL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

“In 1982, Alberto Salazar and Dick Beardsley ran the entire 26.2 miles of the Boston Marathon neck and neck, finishing within two seconds of each other. For both, it was the pinnacle of a running career cut short, for Salazar because of a mysterious malaise, and for Beardsley because of a drug addiction that developed after a farm accident. Brant, a Runner's World writer, weaves the tension of the race into the story of the decline of both runners. . . The story is sad yet triumphant; despite the end of serious running careers, both men made successes of their lives.” —Publishers Weekly

“Taut, thrilling, and insightful, Duel in the Sun transcends the boundaries of sportswriting to give us a tale for the ages.” —Daniel Coyle, author of Lance Armstrong's War and Hardball: A Season in the Projects

“Americans love their champions impossibly mythic. With this gripping retelling of the most exciting Boston Marathon in recent memory, John Brant leads readers not simply across the grueling 26.2 miles that Alberto Salazar and Dick Beardsley ran in 1982, but through later challenges that made their defining athletic achievement look easy.” —Donovan Webster, author of The Burma Road and Aftermath: The Remnants of War

“A beautiful, heartbreaking book. Before the finish line, we've been to Castro's Cuba and on pilgrimage to Croatia, we've faced down addiction and depression, have made final peace with the failings of our bodies, and are left with the final triumph of two men, at odds, though bound by will and desire. Like that marathon 25 years ago, Duel in the Sun is absolutely riveting.” —Michael Paterniti author of Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across America with Einstein's Brain

“This reads like a thriller, but packs the full payload of meticulously researched non-fiction with details that even I, who actually ran Boston that year, had been unaware of. Deeply moving, Duel in the Sun gives loving, but also ruthless portraits of two extraordinary athletes.” —Benjamin H. Cheever, author of The Good Nanny and the forthcoming history of running Strides

“John Brant gives us a wonderful, in-depth look at a classic battle. Even better, he gives us an intimate look at two wildly different American distance runners--their dreams, their triumphs, their foibles, their epic struggles, and the day their lives converged in the streets of Boston.” —Don Kardong, 1976 U.S. Olympic Team

“So prodigiously obsessive that they were impossible even for their coaches to restrain, Alberto Salazar and Dick Beardsley lived out their natures--and their futures--in one great, killing race. Both were driven by the need for consuming effort. Both succeeded--to the point of near obliteration. John Brant's extraordinary book lets us enter and share each's gloriously defining dementia. We emerge, as they themselves have,knowing a peace that could not have been harder earned.” —Kenny Moore, writer for Sports Ilustrated, two-time Olympic marathoner, and author of Bowerman and the Men of Oregon

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781609616984
Publisher:
Rodale
Publication date:
03/06/2007
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
354,296
File size:
3 MB

Meet the Author

John Brant has written regularly for Runner's World since 1985 and has been a contributing editor for Outside magazine since 1992. His writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, and National Geographic Adventure, among other publications. The Runner's World feature, on which this book is based, was included in Best American Sports Writing 2005. Brant lives in Portland, Oregon.

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