Facing 85-degree heat, a dead skunk in the road and a busy schedule that prevented him from training, McGillivray pushed through to complete his annual 58-mile birthday run.
B.A.A. Boston Marathon Race Director Dave McGillivray saw the sun rise and set this week as he ran 58 miles in his home town of North Andover, Massachusetts, to complete his 46th consecutive annual birthday run on Sunday, leaving his house at 2:50 a.m. and running 16 loops of a 3.6 mile course and completing it 16 hours later.
Facing 85-degree heat and a dead skunk in the road – which he had to pass by 32 times – McGillivray said it went better than expected and that the heat got to him more than the distance.
“Running in the dark around here is also pretty challenging, so I was excited when on the third loop the sun started to come up. At mile 2, I experienced my first challenge - a dead skunk, which I would have to run by 32 times throughout the day,” said McGillivray in an e-mail to friends. “ The highlight by far was having my wife and children do a loop with me....Katie ran a loop, Max ran a loop, Elle biked a loop and Luke pushed his scooter for an entire loop - tough kid. My son Ryan came by in his truck to offer support before heading to Gillette Stadium for work. For the last mile, Luke had the bright idea that the entire family should do it together which was awesome but the course he suggested was the 1-mile loop in my neighborhood - Bear "Hill" Road....ugh!!”
McGillivray, race director of the B.A.A. Boston Marathon, the TD Beach to Beacon, the New Balance Falmouth Road Race and more than 30 road races in the U.S. has run his age each year – a tradition he started when he was just 12 years old growing up in Medford, Mass.
“Generally speaking, I thought it all went better than expected. Really had no major issues. I ran at least 95% of the distance and walked just a little...I don't like walking. I took short breaks between splits to drink, eat, play with my kids and clean out the garage. I really need to start training for these things. Given the fact that we directed the TD Beach to Beacon 10K and then the New Balance Falmouth Road Race back-to-back this month, I didn’t have a chance to train, which made it more difficult.”
McGillivray said running ALL day can be amusing, getting waves of "good morning" and then "good afternoon" and then finally "good evening."
“My motto has always been "my game, my rules" but it may be a good time to change the rules for next year – because without time for training and "earning the right" to cover these distances, I am nervous I may really injure myself and I want to be running for a long, long time. One option may be to set a new goal of running "just" a marathon on my birthday each year...that is a more sensible goal...although running a marathon when I turn 120 years old will certainly be pretty challenging! But then again, I only have to run one more mile next year than I did this year so who knows!”