WBZ CBS BOSTON
Dave McGillivray, arguably one of the most fit people on the planet, has coronary artery disease and is preparing to undergo triple bypass surgery as Mass General Hospital. WBZ-TV's Lisa Hughes reports.
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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WBZ CBS BOSTON
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.