Monday, April 20, 2015

Meeting the Boston Marathon Race Director

Since all eyes are on the Boston Marathon today, I thought it would be appropriate to share a little something about the wonderful race director, Dave McGillivray.

If you read our blog back in 2013, then you would remember that I had a chance to meet Mr. McGillivary at the Runner's World Festival.


 I admit that before April of 2013, I didn't know who Dave McGillivray was. My sister ran the Boston marathon that April, so I quickly became acquainted with the name. He spoke at a race I was at in Williamsburg, VA later that summer and then was the keynote speaker at the Runner's World Festival that I had attended in October.
Dave McGillivray

I was super impressed with everything Mr. McGilvery had to say and I wanted to share some of that with you. I in no way could ever reiterate his life story the way he did to us, so I am just going to list some fun and interesting facts he shared with us.

On every birthday, he will run the number miles as his age. So on his 59th birthday, he ran 59 miles!  ( this tradition started when he was a teenager and he plans to continue it as long as he can)
Hopkinton sign

Every year he runs the Boston Marathon at night. He waits until the race day is over and then he runs his own marathon!

Dave always wanted to be an athlete, but at only 5ft 4in, he was always picked last in school sports. He cut got from the b-ball team.

He participated in his first Boston Marathon at age 17 (the legal age you had to be was 18). He went down at the Newton hills and ended up in the hospital. His grandfather waited for Dave to finish, but he never did.

His grandfather told him to keep training and run the marathon again the next year. His grandfather died two months later, but Dave trained and ran Boston again. He dropped out of the race again and did not finish.

The third time Dave ran the Boston Marathon he finished

1978 Dave ran from Medford, Oregon to Medford, Massachusetts to raise money for the Jimmy Fund. It took him 80 days to run from coast to coast.   (He claims he was the original Forrest Gump) :)

1988 was his first year as race director.

He once ran the Boston Marathon blind folded and he still finished in 3 hours and 14 minutes!

Dave McGillivray

At one point in the presentation he asked how many of us HAVE ran a marathon. He then asked how many of us WANT to run a marathon.  He than chose one young lady in the audience that had her hand up.  She came up on stage and he gave her a medal. On the medal it said "One day I will earn my own medal"  Dave told her that when she earns her own marathon medal, that she will need to send this medal back to him. He informed us that that particular medal has been passed around more than 100 times. Talk about accountability!  Isn't that cool?  This lady now has the support of Dave McGillivray!

I haven't even began to touch upon the many accomplishments Dave has had in his lifetime already, but if you were to ask him what his greatest one is he would say " My greatest accomplishment is always my next one".

I am so glad that Dave was our keynote speaker for the weekend!

Have you ever listened to a speaker that you thought was so inspiring?

P.S  Have you read our poem "T'was the eve before the Boston Marathon" that was inspired by our friends who are running today?

26 comments:

  1. Wow, he sounds like an incredible man!

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  2. Sounds very inspiring! Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Wow, it sounds like a great experience to hear him talk. He must have so many stories to tell. I love the bit with the medal and inspiring someone to run their first marathon to earn a medal and send that one back to him.

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    1. Yea, I liked that part too. At the time, I never thought I would run a marathon so I didn't even raise my hand. Now I wish I would have!

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  4. Amazing! I read about Dave in Hal Higdon's book, 4:09:43 Boston 2013 Through the Eyes of the Runners. He is an extremely appropriate person to be the Boston race director! Love how he gave out the medal to a future marathoner and asked that it be sent back when the goal was achieved. So inspiring indeed!

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  5. Wow he sounds like an incredible man! So many fun facts -- I'm glad you shared! That medal story was powerful. Definitely a great example of accountability. He ran it blindfolded?! There really are no excuses!

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    1. I know right? He went from one extreme ( not finishing) to another ( running blind folded).

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  6. Great summary! I had read that he ran the course at night after the official race is over but didn't know much of these. Geez, for my 41st birthday last year, I ran 4.1 miles...cannot imagine running one mile for every year!

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  7. He does sound like a great guy! I love it when a speaker just knows how to speak and is interesting to keep my attention!
    I had ever intention of watching the race today, but I had to attend a co-workers retirement party so I missed it, but did check the finishers, I was so hoping for an American woman win this year by Flanagan, but it wasn't in the cards:)

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    1. I watched the race today and poor Flanagan wasn't even in the lead pack.

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  8. So cool! I knew some things about him, such as his running of the race each year at night. But there's a lot more I didn't know that you shared, and it shows the importance of perseverance and that we can all really do pretty much anything we put our mind to. Great recap!

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  9. That is SOOO cool! I have several people like this that are my go-to in life when I need inspiration!! I wanted to watch to race today, but duty called at work instead!

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  10. very inspirational! Thank you for sharing! It is neat getting to know the rest of the story :)

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    1. Yea, I thought he was a very fascinating person!

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  11. After reading Hal HIgdon's book and this post, I think Boston has the perfect man to lead their race!

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  12. Love this! I can't believe he ran from Oregon to MA! I can't even imagine lol
    I run the minutes of my birthday lol - i am a lightweight.

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  13. wow, he really is incredible! I love that he runs the race at night after directing it during the day

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  14. I have heard his story before, it's quite amazing and inspirational!!

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  15. Really interesting! I was just writing about Kathrine Switzer for a post tomorrow how she wasn't allowed to run Boston bc she was a girl 1967. Lots of history with that race huh?!

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.