Featured in BOSTON, the first-ever feature-length documentary film about the world’s most legendary running race – the Boston Marathon.
Dave McGillivray, Founder
Race director, philanthropist, motivational speaker, accomplished athlete. Dave McGillivray is a professional with a purpose.
From his extraordinary run across the U.S. to benefit the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in 1978 to serving as technical director then race director of the BAA Boston Marathon since the 1980s, McGillivray has helped organize more than 900 mass participatory events since founding DMSE, Inc. in 1981, while raising millions for worthy causes close to his heart.
Here are a few of his many career highlights:
- In 1978 and over the course of 80 consecutive days, McGillivray ran across the U.S. from Medford, Oregon, to his hometown of Medford, Massachusetts, covering a total distance of 3,452 miles. He finished to a standing ovation of 32,000 fans in Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox. His effort raised thousands of dollars for the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
- The 1980 East Coast Run to benefit the Jimmy Fund consisted of 1,520 miles from Winter Haven, Florida to Boston, Massachusetts. McGillivray was joined by Bob Hall, one of the pioneers of wheelchair marathoning, and raised thousands of dollars for the Jimmy Fund. He also met with then President Jimmy Carter at the White House during the trek through Washington, D.C.
- In 1980, 1983-1989, McGillivray competed in eight Gatorade Ironman Triathlons, the premier individual endurance event in the world. The Ironman consists of three back-to-back distance events: a 2.4 mile rough, open ocean water swim, followed by a 112-mile bike race, and finally finishing up with a 26.2-mile marathon run.
- The Wrentham State School 24-Hour Run was designated as the "Run for Our Dreams Marathon." In 1980, this run traversed 120 miles in 24 hours throughout 31 cities within southeastern Massachusetts, ending in Foxboro Stadium during half-time of a New England Patriots football game. Held to benefit the Wrentham State School for the Mentally Retarded, this particular run raised more than $10,000 for the handicapped.
- 1981 brought an invitation to participate in the Empire State Building Run-Up. The course consists of 86 stories, 1,575 steps, 1050 feet in elevation, 40" stair height. Finished 10th place overall in a time of 13 minutes, 27 seconds.
- His 1981 New England Run was a triathlon (running, cycling, and swimming) of 1,522 miles throughout the six New England states. He raised $55,000 for the Jimmy Fund. Unusual segments included running up and down Mount Washington and swimming two miles across Lake Winneapesaukee, both in New Hampshire. In addition, highlights included swimming one mile from Woods Hole towards Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts and running three miles with inmates inside Walpole State Prison.
- In 1982, McGillivray ran the Boston Marathon in 3:14 while blindfolded and being escorted by two guides to raise more than $10,000 for the Carroll Center for the Blind in Newton, Massachusetts.
- Following the 1982 New England Run, he swam more than seven miles from Martha's Vineyard to Falmouth, Massachusetts, again raising funds for the Jimmy Fund. He was greeted by thousands on shore including some of the world's greatest runners including Alberto Salazar.
- He traded his running shoes for swimming shorts in 1983 for the Jimmy Fund 24-Hour Swim. He swam for 24 consecutive hours in the Olympic-size Medford High School pool, swimming a total of 1,884 lengths and covering 26.2 miles (distance of Boston Marathon), again raising funds for the Jimmy Fund.
- Over the course of 14 days in 1983, he bicycled more than 1,000 miles throughout six New England states to raise money for a scholarship fund for McGillivray's alma mater, Merrimack College.
- In 1986, he formed the first sanctioned running club inside a maximum security institution at Walpole State Prison. He also conducted and ran in numerous distance races inside the prison yard, including completing and winning a full 26.2 mile marathon against inmates.
- Also in 1986, he biked for 24 consecutive hours around a five-mile loop course in Medford while simultaneously directing the annual Bay State Triathlon, which was being held on the same course at the same time. He covered a total of 385 miles, again raising money for the Jimmy Fund.
- McGillivray’s many endurance events for charity are legendary, including running 120 miles in 24 hours thru 31 Massachusetts cities; an 86-story, 1,575-step run up Empire State Building in 13 minutes and 27 seconds; and running, cycling and swimming 1,522 miles thru six New England states while raising $55,000 for the Jimmy Fund.
- In 2003, McGillivray created the DMSE Children’s Fitness Foundation to support non-profit organizations that use running to promote physical fitness in children and help solve the epidemic of childhood obesity.
- In 2004, McGillivray and a team of veteran marathon runners journeyed across the country following the same path he took in 1978. Trek USA raised more than $300,000 for five charities benefiting children.
- Each year he runs his birthday age in miles, starting when he was 12, and has not missed one yet. He was born on August 22, 1954 – you can do the math.
- The race director of the Boston Marathon as well as an accomplished runner, McGillivray has run the marathon each year since 1973. For 16 years he ran it with all the other runners and since he began working with the race in 1988 he has run the course afterwards.
- His 2006 book, The Last Pick, which he co-wrote with Linda Glass Fechter, chronicles his childhood and career as the last pick for team sports because of his small stature, motivating readers to never underestimate their own ability to set and achieve goals. Order here on Amazon.
- In 2018 he published his first children's book, Dream Big: A True Story of Courage and Determination, co-authored with Nancy Feehrer. The illustrated book is based on his 2006 autobiography, The Last Pick. Dream Big may be ordered here on Amazon.
- A skilled motivational speaker, McGillivray has displayed his signature ability to engage and inspire listeners to more than 1,600 audiences from corporate executives to high school students.
- McGillivray has received numerous awards – valedictorian at both his high school and college, 2005 Running USA Hall of Champions, 2007 Runner’s World Heroes of Running Award, the 2010 Fleet Feet Lifetime Commitment to Running Award, 2010 Ron Burton Community Service Award, the 2011 Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center's 2011 100 list, and inducted into the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame in 2011 and the prestigious "Jimmy Award" by the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for 30 years of contributing time and expertise to help raise millions for cancer research and treatment. In 2015, he received the MarathonFoto/Road Race Management Lifetime Achievement Award, and was named One of the 50 Most Influential People in Running by Runner's World - tied for 6th place.
- In 2018, he completed the World Marathon Challenge: seven marathons on seven continents in seven days.
- McGillivray has logged more than 150,000 miles, most for charity, raising millions for worthy causes. He’s completed 129 marathons and competed in eight Hawaii Ironman Triathlons.
- His personal bests? Marathon: 2:29:58 and for the Ironman: 10:36:42
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