GLOUCESTER DAILY TIMES
PEABODY — Sports tourism could draw thousands of visitors to the North Shore, but that does not mean pros have to be in the game to score an economic lift, members of the tourist industry were told at a Friday summit.
A day of celebration marking the 40th anniversary of Boston Marathon race director Dave McGillivray’s historic solo 3,452-mile run across the U.S. included the unveiling of a commemorative stone plaque outside Medford City Hall and the re-creation of his Fenway Park finish, again to a standing ovation from Red Sox fans.
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Dave McGillivray got to relive one of the greatest moments of his life at Fenway Park Thursday. He took a victory lap around the field before the Red Sox-Indians game, marking the 40th anniversary of his 1978 “Run Across America,” what Runner’s World magazine called “the first cancer-fund-raising run.”
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You likely remember the part of "Forest Gump" where the titular character ran across the United States just because he felt like it. It seems rather insane, like most of the things Tom Hanks' character was able to accomplish throughout that film.
But in reality, many people have actually accomplished the cross-country jog. One of the first to complete the feat was Boston's Dave McGillivray, who needed 80 days to run 3,452 miles from Oregon to Boston -- an average of 45 miles per day. On the final leg of his run in 1978, McGillivray ran through one of the garage doors in the outfield of Fenway Park and took a few laps around the stadium as the crowd roared.
Before there was "Forrest Gump," there was Dave McGillivray.
Gump, the fictitious simpleton played by Tom Hanks in the 1994 Oscar-winning film, trotted across the U.S. because he "just felt like running."
McGillivray did the same, but with a singular purpose: Forty years ago this month, he completed his own cross-country running odyssey from Medford, Oregon, to his hometown of Medford, Massachusetts, to benefit the Jimmy Fund and its fight against cancer.
Like most college graduates, a fresh-faced Dave McGillivray wanted to do something extraordinary with his life. The year was 1978 and the current race director of the Falmouth Road Race, then 23 years old, had just read about two men who had run across the country. Then he learned of a friend who made the cross-country tour on a bicycle.
In 1978, from June 11 to August 29, Dave McGillivray gave new meaning to the term “cross-country road trip.” The now long-time Boston Marathon race director was 23 years old at the time and had decided to run across the United States in 80 days, raising money for the Jimmy Fund. His 3,452-mile run spanned from Medford, Oregon to Medford, Massachusetts.
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Before there was “Forrest Gump,” there was Dave McGillivray.
Gump, the fictitious simpleton played by Tom Hanks in the 1994 Oscar-winning film, trotted across the U.S. because he “just felt like running.”