WICKED LOCAL NORTH ANDOVER
Boston Marathon Race Director Dave McGillivray conquered the World Marathon Challenge on Feb. 5 in Miami, Florida, completing seven marathons on seven continents in seven days. He arrived back in Boston on Feb. 6. McGillivray, age 63, a Medford native who now lives in North Andover, was the second oldest competitor in the challenge.
“It’s important for me to set a goal, achieve it — getting it done and feeling good about myself,” said McGillivray. “Why scale Mount Everest? Why run across the country? People want to be challenged. Some people, like myself, need to be challenged.”
The B.A.A. Boston Marathon race director and owner of DMSE Sports, McGillivray ran 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, as a member of Team Hold the Plane, assembled by David Samson, former president of the Miami Marlins.
In addition to directing major road races, McGillivray is known for his feats of endurance to raise money for worthy causes. He ran from Medford, Oregon, to Medford, Massachusetts, in 1978 and has also ran up the East Coast of the U.S. and completed the Boston Marathon while blindfolded.
The World Marathon Challenge presented another challenge as McGillivray is just four years removed from being diagnosed with coronary heart disease. Through diet, lifestyle changes and a re-commitment for fitness, he has since reduced the coronary disease by almost 50 percent.
For the World Marathon Challenge, the clock started on Jan. 30 in the Antarctic Circle when the athletes ran a marathon on mainland Antarctica. The final marathon took place yesterday in Miami. The competitors flew by charter plane to each marathon location.
In chronological order, McGillivray’s locations and times were Novo, Antarctica — 4:50; Cape Town, South Africa — 4:34; Perth, Australia — 4:28; Dubai, UAE — 4:29; Lisbon, Portugal — 4:42; Cartagena, Columbia — 4:46; and Miami, Florida — 4:34.
He and the other successful competitors ran a total of 183 miles over the seven-day period and spent about 48 hours in the air.
McGillivray is also known as an inspirational speaker who gives talks to schoolchildren and a variety of groups throughout the country. He just published a children’s picture book titled “Dream Big,” based on his 2006 autobiography, “The Last Pick.”