Boilermaker Blog

A Great Read!

No it’s not me; I spell my name Reed and I’m not that great.
A friend of mine recommended reading the book Duel in the Sun by John Brant and I’m glad he did! It’s the story of the 1982 Boston Marathon featuring Alberto Salazar, the charismatic Cuban-American, vs. Dick Beardsley, the shy Minnesota farm boy. The ‘duel’ between these two creates one of the closest finishes in Boston’s history. Perhaps the term ‘finish’ stands as one of the most important words of the book. Simply put, this race marked the finish of these two athletes premier running careers for different reasons. The marathon acts as a tipping point in these two men’s lives both athletically and personally.
Likewise at a macro-level this race acts as one of the last gasps of American Distance Running as shortly thereafter Ethiopian and Kenyan names would dominate the prize winners of America’s great races beyond Boston. It will be interesting to see if the recent resurgence of American runners with names like Hall, Kastor, Goucher, and Sell can dislodge the foreign domination.
While this is a book about a race, one does not have to be a runner to enjoy it. It is, in the end, the story of endurance, tragedy, and redemption. It is the story of what it is to be human and achieve beyond human results.
It’s a ‘fast read’ that will stick in your mind for a long time!

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