Race director, philanthropist, motivational speaker, accomplished athlete. Dave McGillivray is a professional with a purpose. From his extraordinary run across the U.S. to benefit the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in 1978 to serving as technical director then race director of the BAA Boston Marathon since the 1980s, McGillivray has helped organize more than 900 mass participatory events since founding DMSE, Inc. in 1981, while raising millions for worthy causes close to his heart.
Here are a few of his many career highlights:
- In 1978, McGillivray ran across the U.S. from Medford, Oregon to his hometown of Medford, Mass., covering a total distance of 3,452 miles and ending to a standing ovation in Fenway Park. His effort raised thousands of dollars for the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
- Two years later, he ran 1,520 miles from Winter Haven, Fla., to Boston to raise money for the Jimmy Fund, even meeting with President Jimmy Carter at the White House during the run.
- In 1982, McGillivray ran the Boston Marathon in 3:14 while blindfolded and being escorted by two guides to raise more than $10,000 for the Carroll Center for the Blind in Newton, Mass.
- McGillivray's many endurance events for charity are legendary, including running 120 miles in 24 hours thru 31 Mass. cities; an 86-story, 1,575-step run up Empire State Building in 13 minutes and 27 seconds; and running, cycling and swimming 1,522 miles thru six New England states while raising $55,000 for the Jimmy Fund.
- In 2003, McGillivray created the DMSE Children's Fitness Foundation to support non-profit organizations that use running to promote physical fitness in children and help solve the epidemic of childhood obesity.
- In 2004, McGillivray and a team of veteran marathon runners journeyed across the country following the same path he took in 1978, raising more than $300,000 for five charities benefiting children.
- Each year he runs his birthday age in miles, starting when he was 12, and has not missed one yet. He was born on Aug. 22, 1954 – you can do the math.
- The race director of the Boston Marathon as well as an accomplished runner, McGillivray has run the marathon each year since 1973. For 16 years he ran it with all the other runners and since he began working with the race in 1988 he has run the course afterwards.
- His 2006 book, "The Last Pick", which he co-wrote with Linda Glass Fechter, chronicles his childhood and career as the last pick for team sports because of his small stature, motivating readers to never underestimate their own ability to set and achieve goals. Can be ordered on Amazon.
- A skilled motivational speaker, McGillivray has displayed his signature ability to engage and inspire listeners to more than 1,600 audiences from corporate executives to high school students.
- McGillivray has received numerous awards – valedictorian at both his high school and college, 2005 Running USA Hall of Champions, 2007 Runner's World Heroes of Running Award, the 2010 Fleet Feet Lifetime Commitment to Running Award, 2010 Ron Burton Community Service Award, the 2011 Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center's 2011 100 list, and inducted into the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame in 2011 and the prestigious "Jimmy Award" by the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for 30 years of contributing time and expertise to help raise millions for cancer research and treatment. And in 2015, he was named One of the 50 Most Influential People in Running by Runner's World - tied for 6th place.
- McGillivray has logged more than 150,000 miles, most for charity, raising millions for worthy causes. He's completed 129 marathons and competed in eight Hawaii Ironman Triathlons.
- His personal bests? Marathon: 2:29:58 and for the Ironman: 10:36:42