Duel in the Sun Alberto Salazar Dick Beardsley and

Duel in the Sun Alberto Salazar Dick Beardsley and America's Greatest Marathon 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 afterwardsOne 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 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 rivalryInstead Beardsley soon began a descent into drug addiction that brought him perilously close to dying Salazar's decline was 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 Suires 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

10 thoughts on “Duel in the Sun Alberto Salazar Dick Beardsley and America's Greatest Marathon

  1. Brian Walker Brian Walker says:

    I started off not liking this book The writing was choppy back and forth between different story lines and the characters themselves Salazar and Beardsley were not likable in the way that John Brant was portraying them The fierce competition and obsessive nature of the sport made them almost pathetic when they reached the level in their careers that they couldn't improve on their times and finishing positions I felt embarrassingly sorry for them The motiff of their shadows always being before them with the enemy looming just over their shoulder wove through the whole book Their shadows definitely caught up with them In the end the story was one of deeply flawed individuals who found redemption by embracing the reality of their darker side and opening themselves up The last line of the book shows Salazar joining Beardsley in his 12 marathon running into the morning sun with their shadows behind them Their shadows are still with them but they are unarmed They no longer instill dread and fear I almost didn't stick with this book; I'm glad I did

  2. Shoshanna Shoshanna says:

    This is the story of probably the most epic marathon of all time Boston 1982 It is also a biography of the two frontrunners Alberto Salazar and Dick Beardsley their backgrounds what motivated them what they did afterward As a runner it's fascinating to read about what compels these people to race THAT HARD and how it affects them and it's fascinating for me at least to read about the mysteries of sports injuries But it's a character story as much as a race report one that's simultaneously triumphant and heartbreaking tragic and life affirming Some limits you can obliterate if you try hard enough Some you can't I took a star off because at times the narrative is cumbersome and melodramatic and hard to keep track of the switching back and forth between characters and moments in time But overall it's absorbing impactful and incredibly well researched After reading mostly magazine newspaper and internet articles for uite a long time it made me really appreciate reading something with enough space to lay out all the details and background Some books especially nonfiction tend to repeat themselves and make me wish the author had been satisfied with a nice 5 7 page feature but Brant doesn't he's just really thorough

  3. Carroll Larremore Carroll Larremore says:

    This was just ok for me I’m a big fan of books about running and this really was a phenomenal duel many years ago but than I wanted to know about it

  4. Kristen Kristen says:

    Best book I've read in a while Great story about the tolls of distance running mortality and humanizing even elite athletes

  5. Shannon Fields Shannon Fields says:

    I love running books They are my version of a beach read Books about epic struggle Books about crazy dedication obsession to pushing oneself to greater achievements I did not know the story of the '82 marathon and Salazar and Beardsley I enjoyed learning about it

  6. Lostinanovel Lostinanovel says:

    Not sure if I bought the premise that the '82 Boston Marathon led to the ruin of both men particularly Salazar but Brant uses the idea pretty well to string together a book about a single great race The race descriptions are the best part of the book and alone would have made for a fun magazine article Not sure I cared much to learn the details of Beardsley's fall into drug abuse and Salazar into depression One theme that I would like to have seen developed would have been the contrast between the life of pro runners now vs then Brant thinks the approach back then was extreme and that the runners were a little desperate exemplified by this race But I wonder if how worthwhile it is given Brant's ruin premise Also how did they do financially vs runners today?

  7. Andrew Andrew says:

    Very good running book that was actually three stories in one Two of the threads were the personal biographies of US Marathoners Alberto Salazar and Dick Beardsley Each of these guys had some pretty impactful events in their lives outside of their running The author then wove the two biographies together by interspersing the story of the 1982 Boston Marathon in which these men finished 1 2 and is considered probably the best Boston Marathon in its long long history Definitely a great book for runners but compelling enough for non runners as well This book should certainly be in an reading runner's collection but it can't top Once a Runner by John L Parker

  8. Flora Flora says:

    As I often find to be the case with sports books at first I thought this book to be poorly written overwrittencliched at parts In the end I guess I stopped noticing that though uick read and enjoyable Honestly I could imagine some who isn't into running liking this book since it wasn't just about the race or even mostly about the race but about the long term effects of the one race on both their lives Since 65% of my waking thoughts have to do with running maybe I am not in a position to imagine what someone who isn't into running would think of this book Also who knew there were so many books called Duel in the Sun?

  9. Steve Steve says:

    This is a slightly biased review as I am a runner and wish to run the Boston marathon one day I enjoyed the in depth bio of Dick and Alberto I am calling them by their first names because I feel like their friends after having read this book This book portrays an honest view of people doing amazing things and humanizes them in a level that we can relate too A book worth reading if you are not a runner but a book you MUST read if you are a runner

  10. Suzy Suzy says:

    For anyone who has ever dreamed of or completed a marathonwith some great insight into what goes ON in the heads of elite athletes during a race This made me want to run Boston and meet both Dick Beardsley and Alberto Salazar who regularly give speeches based on the events described in the book

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