McGillivray hailed for triathlon work

Mention the name Dave McGillivray and the words “marathon’’ and “road races’’ immediately spring to mind.

And rightfully so. The Medford native is the longtime director of the Boston Marathon, and either produced or was consulted on the 2004 and the 2008 US Women’s Olympic Trials, along with the 1996 Games in Atlanta.

All told, he’s been involved with more than 900 mass participatory events throughout the region, the nation, and the world — the latest the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore, in which 60,000 runners toed the starting line.

What some might not realize is that the North Andover resident launched his career nearly 30 years ago as director of the Bay State Triathlon. Since then, in addition to marathons and road races, he’s directed 150 more, including the 1983 Cape Cod Endurance Triathlon — believed to be the first ultra-distance event of its kind in the continental USA — the 1990 World Triathlon Championships, and the 1998 Goodwill Games Triathlon.

But he has also competed in and completed eight Ironman Triathlons in Hawaii; his best finish was 14th in 1980.

His efforts have not gone unnoticed.

McGillivray will be inducted into the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame on Jan. 15 in Colorado Springs, along with six-time Ironman champion Dave Scott of Boulder, Colo., and age-group triathlete Susan Bradley-Cox of Lexington, Ky.

“Obviously, this is a distinct honor,’’ said McGillivray, “but I have always felt that there is no such thing as an individual award. When one is considered for something like this, it’s also about the people he surrounds himself with. It’s a team effort and I look at this as just not me going into the hall of fame, but those who supported me and worked with me through the years. I share this with them.

“Triathlons have been going on now for some 35 years and there are hundreds of thousands who have participated and contributed in one way or another, and to be recognized is humbling. At the same time, I am proud to accept the honor on behalf of all the other directors who have helped make the sport what it is today and for all those who have helped me personally.’’

Shortly after he was informed of his hall of fame selection last month, he also was presented with the Ron Burton Community Service Award at Gillette Stadium.

The award, named after the former Patriots running back, recognized McGillivray’s years of “demonstrated leadership in service and respect for others.’’

“It’s been a busy time; maybe it just means I’m getting older and things are adding up a little bit,’’ joked the 56-year-old McGillivray, before adding, “I’ve never done things to gain awards, but when people recognize the effort you put into things it’s touching and motivating and inspiring and makes you want to do even more.

“I make a lot of motivational speeches and I’m always asked what has been my greatest accomplishment. I always answer that question the same way. I say ‘my best one is my next one.’ I’m not one to look back on what I’ve done. I want to see where I’m going and what I’m going to do.’’

McGillivray said if he had his druthers, he’d be going into the Hall of Fame as a competitor and not a contributor.

“Sure, that would have been my dream, but at the same time I am so very proud to be going in as a contributor. Going as an athlete is about you. Going in as a contributor is about giving back and giving people the chance to participate. Way back when I never thought about going in as a contributor, but now I feel it’s a greater accomplishment.’’

USA Triathlon Hall of Fame chairman Chuck Graziano called McGillivray, Scott, and Bradley-Cox “outstanding representatives of the multisport lifestyle, and we are incredibly grateful for their contributions to our sport.’’