Renowned race director, endurance athlete and inspirational speaker returning to his alma mater to speak for the first time in 43 years
MEDFORD, Massachusetts — Medford native Dave McGillivray, the race director of the B.A.A. Boston Marathon, will speak at Medford High School on the morning of April 15, two years to the day after the tragic Boston Marathon bombings.
“It will be a sad day but an important day to remember this tragedy and also honor the many victims,” McGillivray said.
Medford also is the hometown of Krystle Campbell, who was killed in the bombings and McGillivray is using his appearance to help raise awareness for a community garden that will be built in her honor in Medford.
“The Krystle Campbell Peace Garden will be an important project and a peaceful place for remembering the victims of the tragedy,” McGillivray said. “It was graciously organized by the community and the City of Medford, which raised funds to make it happen.”
The city has reached its fundraising goal to build the garden, McGillivray said, but needs additional funding to cover maintenance costs. To donate online go to www.medford.org or mail a check to City of Medford Memorial Fund for Krystle Campbell Peace Garden, P.O. Box 87, Medford, MA 02155.
"It means so much to all of us to have a chance to memorialize Krystle's legacy,” Medford Mayor Michael J. McGlynn said. “The garden, which will be built in a neglected lot in front of the Senior Center on Riverside Avenue, will honor the victims of the Boston Marathon Bombings; Krystle, Lingzi Lu, Martin Richard and Officer Sean Collier, as well as all the survivors injured during the bombings. Our goal is to be able to break ground for the Krystle Campbell Peace Garden in late June."
McGillivray’s talk to the students next Wednesday (April 15), called “Defining Moments,” is set to begin at 9:50 a.m. in the school auditorium.
“In the marathon of life it is important for us to use ‘defining moments’ as inspirational fuel for the continuous strengthening of community values," said Medford Superintendent of Schools Roy E. Belson.
In addition to managing road races throughout the U.S. with his team at DMSE Sports, McGillivray, 60, is a motivational speaker who has logged more than 1,900 appearances in his career. But his talk on April 15 will mark the first time he has returned to speak to Medford High School students since he graduated in 1972 as Valedictorian.
“I am incredibly excited about returning to my hometown, my roots, where it all began for me,” McGillivray said. “I have spoken all over the country but I’m more excited about this appearance and talking to the students than just about any I’ve ever given.”
McGillivray’s motivational talks frequently include stories of his childhood in Medford when his small stature meant he was often the last pick for sports teams, fueling his motivation to overcome obstacles and achieve his goals. His story is chronicled in his 2006 book The Last Pick.
McGillivray, president of DMSE Sports, first gained national prominence with his 1978 cross country run - from Medford, Oregon to Medford, Mass. - 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.
Over his career, McGillivray has logged more than 150,000 miles, completed nine Hawaii Ironman Triathlons and has finished 138 marathons – including 42 consecutive Boston Marathons.
Last fall, a year following a diagnosis of severe coronary heart disease, McGillivray made a triumphant return and completed the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, after a 25-year absence. The health scare in October 2013 prompted McGillivray to change his diet, eliminate stress and rededicate himself to fitness. He has reduced his disease by about 40 percent.
McGillivray, who now lives in North Andover, Mass., 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.
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.