When Dave McGillivray founded DMSE SPORTS in a Medford, MA, storefront in 1981, running was known as jogging, wicking material was a terry cloth headband, and sports drinks and running shoes were in their infancy.
Known today as DMSE Sports or just DMSE, the company and its 75+ consultants manage more than 30 major road races and charitable events per year, including:
New Balance Falmouth Road Race
Camp Harborview Citython 5K
Run to Home Base
Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk
Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race
BAA Boston Marathon
TD Beach to Beacon
Feaster Five Thanksgiving Day Run
Harvard Pilgrim Finish at the Fifty at Patriot Place
The Early Years
Since 1981, DMSE has organized or consulted on more than 1,000 events, raising millions for charity and earning a reputation as one of the most thorough, well organized race management firms in the U.S.
DMSE’s first event – the Bay State Triathlon at Wright’s Pond in Medford, Mass. – attracted 100 participants and was one of the first triathlons ever held in New England and the nation. McGillivray had competed in the 1980 Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii and brought the concept back to his native Northeast. A triathlete for years, McGillivray competed in eight Ironman triathlons and introduced the inspirational father-son team of Rick and Dick Hoyt to the sport. In January of 2011, he was inducted into the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame.
Triathlons were just the beginning for DMSE. As the group organized more athletic events, McGillivray and his staff quickly earned a reputation as detail minded, safety oriented and creative thinkers in the competitive arena of event management. In 1988, the B.A.A Boston Marathon noticed and appointed McGillivray technical director of the world-famous marathon, and in 2001 he was appointed race director – a title he still holds today.
Picking Up Speed
As DMSE grew, McGillivray added to his team, hand picking the best in start and finish line management, lead vehicle programs, runner registration and results, while working with local volunteers, race committees and police and fire departments to create a smooth operation come race day. So when Olympic Gold Medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson had an idea for a road race in her hometown of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, she reached out to McGillivray and his team. The TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K was launched in 1998 and is now among the most popular on the U.S. road race circuit, attracting some of the world’s fastest elite athletes and drawing rave reviews from participants.
Others noticed as well. From the Bellin Run in Green Bay, Wisconsin and the Lady Speed Stick® Women's Half Marathon Series throughout the U.S. to Run to Home Base at Fenway Park and Run For The Dream in Williamsburg, Va., a DMSE race is known for being safe, organized, technically advanced and produced without flaws. No wonder that in 2000, McGillivray and his team received the prestigious Race Director of the Year award from Road Race Management.
Maintaining the Pace
In 2014, DMSE added another high-profile event to the portfolio as the team was brought on to manage the Across the Bay 10K in Annapolis, MD, which has had more than 20,000 runners in each of the first two years!
DMSE Sports also is a pioneer in what is now one of the most important aspects of the athletic industry – combining athletics with philanthropy. Nearly every DMSE endeavor has that unbeatable combination of fitness and fundraising, giving back to the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston Children’s Hospital, Lazarus House and many others.
The DMSE Children's Fitness Foundation
In 2003 McGillivray created his own charity, The DMSE Children’s Fitness Foundation. The Foundation supports non-profit programs that use running as a primary means of promoting physical fitness in children. When DMSE marked “30 years running” with a gala event March 12, 2011, proceeds from the event benefited the DMSE Foundation’s new Running in Places program, which focuses on building healthy bodies and healthy minds by combining physical activity with visits to educational and historic locations. The motivational program, launched as a pilot program in 2010, is designed to help public school children learn the importance of physical fitness, self-esteem, peer respect and education. Visit the DMSE Children's Fitness Foundation website.
From organizing his first triathlon to the DMSE “30 Years Running” anniversary event in 2011, McGillivray’s passion for health, fitness and giving back to the community has been the driving vision for his company today, establishing DMSE Sports as the Gold Standard of excellence in athletic endeavors and philanthropy.
DMSE has been involved with more than 900 major events over the 30+years, but here are a few highlights:
1980 Dave McGillivray Running and Sports Center opens in Medford, Massachusetts
1981 Dave McGillivray Sports Enterprises (DMSE) is born, sets up offices in Medford
1982 DMSE directs first triathlon, the Bay State Triathlon at Spot Pond in Medford
1983 DMSE produces Cape Cod Endurance Triathlon, first Ironman-distance triathlon in the continental U.S.
1984 Dave McGillivray Sports Enterprises, Inc. is incorporated, April 19, 1984
1988 DMSE is hired as the Technical Coordinator of the BAA Boston Marathon.
1989 DMSE manages Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk
1990 DMSE directs the Triathlon World Championship at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida
1993 DMSE manages Feaster Five Thanksgiving Day Road Race in Andover, Massachusetts
1996 DMSE assists with 100th running of the B.A.A. Boston Marathon with a record 38,000+ official entrants
1996 DMSE consultants hired to assist with venue management of all road events for Atlanta Olympic Games
1998 DMSE directs Goodwill Games Triathlon in New York City
1998 DMSE asked by Olympic Gold Medalist Joan Samuelson to manage the first TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K (then the People Beach to Beacon 10K)
2003 DMSE creates its own foundation: The DMSE Children’s Fitness Foundation
2004 DMSE manages USA Women’s Marathon Olympic Trials in St. Louis
2008 DMSE assists BAA in managing USA Women’s Marathon Olympic Trial in Boston, Massachusetts
2010 DMSE launches four new races – Spring Training 10K Classic in Jupiter, Florida; Run to Home Base at Fenway Park in Boston; Harvard Pilgrim 10K at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough; and the Run Gloucester 7-Mile Race in Gloucester
2010 DMSE Foundation launches “Running in Places” program for Boston-area school children
2010 DMSE hired as consultant to the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon
2010 DMSE hired to manage 2011 Run for the Dream half marathon in Williamsburg, Virginia, and 2011 Mt. Washington Road Race
2011 DMSE celebrates "30 Years Running" March 12 with more than 450 dignitaries, consultants, and athletes; DMSE hired to serve as the race director of the New Balance Falmouth Road Race in Cape Cod in time for its 40th running
2013 DMSE manages the 25th Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk
2014 DMSE assists with the Across the Bay 10K in Annapolis, Maryland
2015 DMSE hired to direct the USA Invitational Half Marathon in San Diego, California
2016 DMSE manages the Runner's World Half & Festival in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
2017 DMSE celebrates 20 years of managing the TD Beach to Beacon in Cape Elizabeth, Maine
2017 DMSE hired to manage the inaugural Fenway Park Marathon