Dave McGillivray’s “Dream Big: A True Story of Courage and Determination” is a nonfiction picture book based on his 2006 autobiography “The Last Pick”

BOSTON – Boston Marathon Race Director Dave McGillivray has run the marathon 45 times, directed it for 30 years and run across the country for charity. This year, he’s also written a children’s book.

“Dream Big: A True Story of Courage and Determination” is a nonfiction picture book for readers ages 7 to 10, 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 last night at a reception in Boston 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.

Now for sale online via Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and at select bookstores, Dream Big also will 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. More info at

A renowned race director, motivational speaker, philanthropist and endurance athlete, McGillivray recently conquered the World Marathon Challenge, completing seven marathons on seven continents in seven days last month. A Medford, Mass., native who now lives in North Andover, Mass., McGillivray, 63, 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 publisher, in “Dream Big: A True Story of Courage and Determination,” Dave recounts the story of a small kid who wants more than anything to be a professional athlete. But there’s one problem. You have to be tall to play basketball. You have to be big to play football. And Dave? He’s little, but his dreams are BIG. He turns to running, because you don’t have to be big to be a marathon runner! But you do need to train. And Dave doesn’t do much training before he crosses his first starting line of the Boston Marathon. Which is probably why he doesn’t quite cross the finish line on his first attempt at the famous race.

But his Grandpa believes in him, and that’s enough to make Dave train hard for the next Boston Marathon. But will his Grandpa be there to see him succeed?

Kids and grownups alike will be inspired by Dave’s story of passion, determination, and grit. Nomad Press’s first foray into the genre of nonfiction picture books, Dream Big delivers on all the promise you’d expect from a vibrant, real-life character paired with an award-winning fine artist. Together, Dave McGillivray, Nancy Feehrer and Illustrator Ron Himler create a story that 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. A child who completes the “marathon” will receive a Dream Big Marathon Race Medal, while supplies last. Details at

The book jacket also contains blurbs from a range of 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.