Race director of the B.A.A. Boston Marathon and TD Beach to Beacon has run his age in miles each year since he was 12
BOSTON — Dave McGillivray, the race director of the B.A.A. Boston Marathon and the upcoming New Balance Falmouth Road Race, continued a longtime tradition he began on his 12th birthday and ran 60 miles on Saturday.
McGillivray, who officially turns 60 on Aug. 22, made his run on a 3.5 mile route near his North Andover, Mass., home that included a loop around the Old Town Common and back 17 times. He was joined on various loops by Olympic Gold Medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson, inspirational athletes Team Hoyt and John Young, Dave Weatherbie and Mike Stone of the TD Beach to Beacon, members of the local Borderline Runners Club, and his children Max, Elle and Luke also ran. McGillivray and his wife, Katie, also celebrated their 11th wedding anniversary on Aug. 10.
Immediately following his finish at 4:15 p.m. (he started at 2 a.m.) McGillivray received a text from Boston Marathon champ, Meb K. who wrote “Congratulations Dave…I need to do my age and start going backwards. You are amazing.” He also received an email from four-time Boston Marathon champ, Bill Rodgers, who wrote, “Dave, the best thing about your run is seeing how many people care about you.”
Approaching the task as he would the major sporting events that he directs, McGillivray has been preparing for the run since the spring, including producing an "ops manual" and throwing a party at his home with more than 200 guests. He has also been training for the big run by completing the entire course of the Boston Marathon after the crowds dispersed to benefit the Martin W. Richard Charitable Foundation (known as MR8) and again running the course in July. Martin’s father, Bill Richard, and his brother Henry also attended Saturday festivities.
McGillivray, president of DMSE Sports, also plans to return to Kona, Hawaii in October to participate in the Ironman Triathlon World Championship for the ninth time – but for the first time in 25 years. He will compete in the Ironman to once again benefit MR8.
McGillivray gained national prominence with his 1978 cross country run that took 80 days and raised almost $150,000 for the Jimmy Fund – the first money any runner ever raised for a cancer charity, according to Runner’s World. He has completed a number of similar feats of endurance since his groundbreaking cross country trek, including a second cross-country run in 2004 from San Francisco to Boston as part of TREK USA, a relay team event that raised more than $300,000 for five children’s charities. He has now logged more than 150,000 miles, eight Hawaii Ironman Triathlons and now has finished 131 marathons – including 42 consecutive Boston Marathons.
McGillivray learned he had coronary heart disease last fall and has spoken out about getting healthy and going in for heart tests, even if you think you are healthy and in shape. He has lost 27 pounds, dropped his cholesterol level by over 70 points and has been following a very, very strict and healthy diet, which he credits as having given him his health back and now feels he is in his best shape in 15 years.
On Saturday, McGillivray said he felt that this birthday run was the easiest in over 20 years and showed no signs of fatigue or soreness.
McGillivray is a pioneer in what is now one of the most important aspects of the endurance sports industry – combining athletics with philanthropy. Nearly every DMSE Sports event combines fitness and fundraising, giving back to the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Children’s Hospital, Lazarus House and many others charities and non-profit organizations in New England and across the country. He along with all the events he has directed have helped raised more than $100 million for charity over the years since starting DMSE Sports in 1981.
DMSE Sports is a leader in sports event management, specializing in creating, marketing and producing mass participatory athletic events throughout the U.S. and abroad. In addition to the B.A.A. Boston Marathon, DMSE manages more than 25 major road races per year, including the TD Beach to Beacon in Maine, the New Balance Falmouth Road Race on Cape Cod, the Finish at the 50 at Patriot Place, Run for the Dream in Williamsburg, Va., the Bellin Run in Green Bay, Wis., the Feaster Five Thanksgiving Day Road Race and the Across the Bay 10K in Annapolis, Maryland, among others. For more info, visit www.dmsesports.com.