Feaster Five race director turns his biography into a children's book

Boston Marathon Race Director Dave McGillivray, of North Andover, has run the marathon 45 times, directed it for 30 years and run across the country for charity.

Most recently, he ran seven marathons in seven days ... in seven continents. It was probably the most difficult and enthralling adventure of his life.

Until this one, a children's book he wrote: "Dream Big, A True Story on Courage and Determination."

The book, which he has been developing for a few years, is a nonfiction picture book for readers between the age of 7 to 10. It is based on his 2006 autobiography “The Last Pick,” in which McGillivray shares his unique, true story about reaching deep and showing extreme determination in the face of doubt, disappointment and loss.

Dream Big ( was launched Boston on Tuesday featuring McGillivray and co-author Nancy Feehrer, Scott Middlemiss of the Joseph Middlemiss Big Heart Foundation, Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans, hockey legend Ray Bourque, Boston Athletic Association CEO Tom Grilk, Boston Transportation Department Commissioner Gina Fiandaca, Bryan Lyons of Team Hoyt and Bill Galatis, owner of Tresca Restaurant, host of the event, attended by more than 120 friends and supporters.

A renowned race director, including the Boston Marathon, the Olympic Marathon in Athens, Greece and several area road races, including the Feaster Five, McGillivray is also a noted motivational speaker, philanthropist and endurance athlete,

A Medford native and father of five, who now lives in North Andover, is the owner of DMSE Sports, Inc. He ran the marathons on behalf of Team MR8 to raise money for the Martin Richard Foundation, created in memory of the 8-year-old victim of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.

McGillivray is a pioneer in what is now one of the most important aspects of the endurance sports industry – combining athletics with philanthropy. He and the races he has managed through DMSE Sports have raised millions for charity, including through his legendary feats of endurance. He ran from Medford, Oregon to Medford, Mass., in 1978, ran up the East Coast of the U.S. and completed the Boston Marathon while blindfolded.

According to the book's publisher, McGillivray recounts the story of a small kid who wants more than anything to be a professional athlete, particularly basketball.

There was one big problem. You have to be tall to play basketball, football and other major sports. McGillivray was always one of the smallest in his classes while growing up and today is 5-foot-6.

But thanks to his commitment to running, which started with promises to his grandfather, he began dedicating himself to road racing in high school and college, later adding the marathon distance to his repertoire. 

The theme of the book is as the title promotes -- dream big. 

McGillivray hopes both kids and grownups will be inspired by his story of passion, determination, and grit. It is Nomad Press’s first foray into the genre of nonfiction picture books as McGillivray teams with Nancy Feehrer and Illustrator Ron Himler create a story that he says "is heartwarming, inspiring, and beautifully presented."

The last page of the book includes a challenge for its young readers, called The Dream Big Marathon, which encourages them to be fit physically, mentally and emotionally by running 26 miles, reading 26 books and performing 26 acts of kindness in 26 weeks.

Any child who completes the book's “marathon” will receive a Dream Big Marathon Race Medal, while supplies last. Details at

The book jacket also contains comments from notable athletes, actors and dignitaries who were moved by McGillivray’s story and his message of perseverance and triumph in the face of life’s challenges. The list includes actors Matt Damon and Sean Astin, the star of Rudy; legendary distance runners Meb Keflezighi, Joan Benoit Samuelson and Bill Rodgers; Celtics great Dave Cowens; long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad, astronaut Suni Williams; Boston Mayor Marty Walsh; author Peter H. Reynolds; and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, head coach Bill Belichick and star Rob Gronkowski.

How to get the book

McGillivray's book, "Dream Big," is now for sale online via Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and at select book stores, It will also be given free to children at 12 schools throughout Massachusetts as a gift from the Joseph Middlemiss Big Heart Foundation when McGillivray speaks at their school (see