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

Front Cover
Rodale, Feb 21, 2006 - Sports & Recreation - 210 pages
2 Reviews
John Brant re-creates the tense drama of the 1982 Boston Marathon--and the powerful forces of fate that drove these two athletes in the years afterwards
"One was a humble farm boy from Minnesota. The other was the most electrifying distance runner of his time. In 1982, they battled stride for stride for more than two hours in the most thrilling Boston Maraton ever run. Then the drama really began. . . ." Thus John Brant sets the stage for the epic race that took place 23 years ago between Alberto Salazar and Dick Beardsley. Since Beardsley was only 26 and Salazar 23 at the time, everyone assumed that this would be the start of a long and glorious rivalry.

Instead Beardsley soon began a descent into drug addiction that brought him perilously close to dying. Salazar's decline was more gradual, his vigor slowly giving way to baffling symptoms that left him completely exhausted. Brant's portraits of the painkiller-addicted Beardsley and the depression-plagued Salazar are at once sensitive and hair-raising. The supporting characters are also richly drawn, from Alberto's father, Jose Salazar, a towering presence with a fascinating history and a former close friend of Fidel Castro, to Bill Squires, Beardsley's coach, a Casey Stengel-like figure whose oddball goofiness masks an encyclopedic knowledge of distance running. This elegantly written story is riveting nonfiction at its very best.

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - csayban - LibraryThing

While Duel in the Sun is a chronicle of the 1982 Boston Marathon - one of the greatest head-to-head foot races in history - it is so much more. Brant doesn't just capture the race - he captures the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - npl - LibraryThing

The 1982 Boston Marathon became a duel between two American runners. But who would win? The celebrated champion Alberto Salazar or the underdog Dick Beardsley? They ran the entire marathon practically ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2006)

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, National Geographic Adventure, and many other publications. Several of his stories, including the one on which this book is based, have been nominated for National Magazine Awards. In 2002 Brant received the Journalistic Excellence Award from the Road Runners Club of America. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Bibliographic information