Dave McGillivray has a lot of energy: He has completed 156 marathons, including 47 Boston Marathons in a row and the World Marathon Challenge in 2018, which involves running 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days. He’s done the Ironman Triathlon World Championship nine times, twice run across the country, and has devoted many thousands of miles of running for charities, including the Jimmy Fund, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Massachusetts Special Olympics. He established DMSE Sports, a sports event management company, and the DMSE Children’s Fitness Foundation. He’s been directing the B.A.A. Boston Marathon for the past 32 years, is a motivational speaker in high demand—and writes books!
McGillivray’s debut autobiographical picture book featured the story of the first time he ran the Boston Marathon—Dream Big: A True Story of Courage and Determination (Nomad Press 2018) drew praise from the likes of Matt Damon, Meb Keflezighi, Rob Gronkowski, and School Library Journal.
His second picture book, coming September 2019 also from Nomad Press, again draws from his life as a runner and describes his 3,452-mile, 80-day run from Medford, Oregon, to his hometown of Medford, Massachusetts. In Running Across America: A True Story of Dreams, Determination, and Heading for Home (Nomad Press September 2019), McGillivray tells the tale of how he braved the Sierra and Rocky Mountains, millions of grasshoppers in Nebraska, days of pouring rain in Ohio, the occasional rattlesnake, and intensely sore knees. On top of it all, homesickness and doubt are constant companions as he tries to achieve his dream of running from coast-to-coast.
But that’s not his only dream. By making the run a fundraiser for the Jimmy Fund, McGillivray joins his favorite baseball team, the Red Sox, in making lives better for children battling cancer. Through 13 states, blistering heat, and being “pulled over” by a state trooper, McGillivray relies on good friends, family, a sense of humor, and sheer determination to fulfill a dream—and to help kids who can’t run. Part of the proceeds from this book will go the Jimmy Fund for children’s cancer research and the Joseph Middlemiss Big Heart Foundation for children’s heart research.
“Working with Dave is a pleasure,” says Alex Kahan, publisher of Nomad Press. “The energy he puts into achieving all of his goals, and his commitment to making children’s lives better, perfectly aligns with our philosophy at Nomad of doing everything we can to get quality books into the hands of kids. Plus, his stories are just terrific.
Running Across America serves as the foundation for McGillivray’s Dream Big Marathon, explained at the end of the book, which challenges kids to run 26 miles, read 26 books, and do 26 acts of kindness in 26 weeks, sponsored by the Joseph Middlemiss Big Heart Foundation (jmbigheart.org). By encouraging kids to be active, keep learning, and do good whenever they can, the Dream Big Marathon helps children to build confidence in themselves to succeed in whatever they choose to do.
Want to see Dave in action? Even if you weren’t in Boston on Marathon Monday, you can catch his inspiring TED talk about defining moments in this video, made the week before he ran his 47th Boston Marathon!