ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - This week 1982 East High School graduates Larsen Klingel and Andy Beardsley will be given the Trajan Langdon award by the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame. The duo will be recognized for their finish of the 2018 Boston Marathon. The Trajan Langdon award is given to a person or group of people who have demonstrated leadership, integrity and sportsmanship during the past year.
2018 Boston Marathon
The 2018 Boston Marathon will be remembered for its historic bad weather, and slow times. The wet weather made the marathon difficult for all runners, and especially for Klingel and Beardsley, who were a duo team.
Beardsley pushed Klingel in a modified wheel chair since Klingel has cerebral palsy.
“When we first took off it was very cold,” said Klingel a year later, remembering the race from his home in Homer. “Weather was so bad every time I handed a salt tablet to Andy it would melt in my hand.”
The rain plus wet gear added 30 to 40 pounds on to Klingel’s wheelchair, which he found ironic since he had lost 10 pounds to make it lighter before the marathon.
“I was thinking we have to put up with this (weather) for 26 miles,” said Klingel jokingly. “It was quite the feat for Andy to even push that much weight.”
The two would finish in 3 hours 40 minutes and 43 seconds. After the race, a photo taken of the duo by Beardsley's brother Scott appeared in the Anchorage Daily News.
“My Facebook page just blew up, it was unbelievable,” said Klingel. “That’s when I understood the power of Facebook.”
The news of the race spread quickly, along with the story of how a hotel shower cap saved Beardsley from hypothermia during the marathon.
Beardsley and Klingel
Despite being in their fifties, and decades removed from their elementary school days, Klingel and Beardsley remain great friends. Klingel retired after trading commodity futures, and Beardsley is a teacher in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The two became friends at 10 years old at Rogers Park Elementary School in Anchorage, growing up in College Village. Klingel was born with cerebral palsy, but had a strong support system of friends and family behind him.
“They came up with a lot of nutty ideas,” said Klingel, describing his childhood group of friends.
Those ideas never seemed to stop for Beardsley, who spearheaded the idea to run the Boston Marathon after learning about Dick and Rick Hoyt
A year removed from the marathon, Klingel said it was an inspiring experience.
“I want, in a way, hopefully, to give other people with cerebral palsy like me, or other people who have challenges (the inspiration that) you don’t have to sit around,” said Klingel. “If I can lift those people up. That will be a good thing.”
The 2019 Alaska Sports Hall of Fame induction will be held April 24, 2019, from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the Anchorage Museum.
Copyright 2019 KTUU. All rights reserved.