The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-382 – Dave Mcgillivray – 7 marathons in 7 days on 7 continents

 (Audio: link) audio:]
Link epi4382.mp3

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -

Hello and welcome to the RunRunLive Podcast episode 4-382

Hello.  This is Chris.  Today we have an excellent interview with Dave McGillivray about his recent experience of running 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days.  We go off script a bit and do a bit of old-guy trash talking too.

I was originally going to skip this week because I’ve been so beat up by work and training recently.  But, when I spoke to Dave and heard how great the conversation was I had to get it out. 

In section one I’ll talk about how struggling through bad workouts isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  In Section two I’ll drop a chapter from the audio book version of my Marathon BQ book called “The Dark Place”. 

That’s the theme for this week I guess, struggle and perseverance.  Stick to the plan. 

As of today, we are 50 or so days out from Boston.  My training, although challenging, is, in the grand scheme, going well. 

Coming into this weekend I saw that the weather was going to be heavy freezing rain on Sunday and petitioned coach to move my long run to Saturday.  He acquiesced and I did a nice sunny run with my buddies yesterday.  They ended up running about 2:15 and I went a little longer and hit 2:45.  It ended up around 19 and ½ miles for me. 

Having run the same 2:45 last weekend on Sunday, that means the two long runs fell into the same 7-day week and I ended up with over 60 miles for the week.  That’s something I haven’t seen for awhile. 

My legs are holding up ok.  I went back out today with some other guys from my club and we did an easy hour in the trails in the freezing rain.  No issues.  I do need to work more core strength and stretching in because I’m tight, but, hey you can’t do everything.

My tempo runs are coming in around a 7:30 pace which is encouraging.  My engine is very strong.  My heart is solid.  The legs are the constraint right now.  I imagine that should improve with all this volume. Bottom line I’m in a good spot for a strong 20th Boston Marathon if we get good weather.

It’s funny, I wrote that Marathon BQ book a couple years ago because it insisted on getting out of my head.  If you were to train with me these are the kind of stories you’d hear over and over.  I started the podcast for the same reason, to take all this stuff about running I’d accumulated and get it out into the public where it might do some good. 

The book, putts along at a dozen or so a month, spiking in the spring and fall when people tend to think about qualifying!  I suppose I should make some effort to find a real publisher given the staying power and what they call “irrational enthusiasm” people have around the topic.  I’m too busy.  If you know an enthusiastic publisher who wants a market tested vehicle I’ll take the meeting. 

But, what really turns me on, what really makes me think ‘huh’, is when I get these emails out of the blue that thank me for it.  It really blows me away.  I’ll share one here.  Redacted, because I don’t have permission. 


I know that you receive countless "thank you" emails from runners who have found success using your Marathon BQ training plan.... but I wanted to offer yet another.

Last year, I ran the Chicago Marathon - giving it all that I had - finishing in 3:44:24....essentially the same time that finished at the Disney Marathon several years prior.

In one year, using your program, I dropped 23 minutes off of my time, finishing the 2018 Houston Marathon strong in 3:21:04.

My goal was to qualify for Boston....and with a BQ cutoff of 3:25 for my age (46) group, it looks like I will get a bib.

All of those speed workouts really worked!

Looking forward to running Boston in 2019.

Can't thank you enough!

Sincere yours,


On with the show!

I’ll remind you that the RunRunLive podcast is ad free and listener supported.  What does that mean? It means you don’t have to listen to me trying to sound sincere about or Audible.. (although, fyi, my MarathonBQ book is on audible) We do have a membership option where you can become a member and as a special thank you, you will get access to member’s only audio. There are book reviews, odd philosophical thoughts, zombie stories and I curate old episodes for you to listen to.  I recently added that guy who cut off is foot so he could keep training and my first call with Geoff Galloway.   “Curated” means I add some introductory comments and edit them up a bit.  So anyhow – become a member so I can keep paying my bills.


The RunRunLive podcast is Ad Free and listener supported.  We do this by offering a membership option where members get Access to Exclusive Members Only audio and articles.

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Section one – Tale of two workouts -

Voices of reason – the conversation

Dave race director, philanthropist, author and athlete

Dave McGillivray is a U.S.-based. In 1978, he ran across the U.S. to benefit the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.[1] Presently he is race director of the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) Boston Marathon and his team at DMSE Sports, Inc. have organized well over 1,000 mass-participatory endurance events since he founded it in 1981.This was taken toward the end of headlands 100 in sept.

In 1978, McGillivray ran across the U.S. from Medford, Oregon to his hometown of Medford, Massachusetts, a distance of 3,452 miles, ending in Fenway Park in Boston. His effort raised funds for the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.[2] Two years later, he ran the East Coast Run to benefit the Jimmy Fund, running 1,520 miles from Winter Haven, Florida to Boston, Massachusetts joined by Robert Hall, a pioneer of wheelchair marathoning, raising money for the Jimmy Fund and 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 $10,000 for the Carroll Center for the Blind in Newton, Mass.[3] He competed in eight Gatorade Ironman Triathlons from 1980 to 1989, an individual endurance event consisting of three back-to-back distance events: a 2.4 mile rough, open ocean water swim, followed by a 112-mile bike race and finishing up with a 26.2-mile marathon run.

In 1981, McGillivray ran in the Empire State Building Run Up, an 86-story, 1,575-step run, placing 10th with a time of 13 minutes, 27 seconds. The same year he participated in the annual New England Run where he triathloned (ran, cycled, and swam) 1,522 miles throughout the six New England states raising $55,000 for the Jimmy Fund. The event required a run up and down Mount Washington and swimming two miles across Lake Winneapesaukee, both in New Hampshire, as well as swimming one mile from Woods Hole in Cape Cod towards Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, ending the course with running three miles alongside inmates within the Walpole State Prison and raising $55,000 for the Jimmy Fund.[4] A year later he swam more than seven miles in the Martha's Vineyard Swim, from Martha's Vineyard to Falmouth, Massachusetts, raising funds for the Jimmy Fund and was greeted on the shore by runners such as Alberto Salazar.

In 1986, he formed the first sanctioned running club inside a maximum security institution at Walpole State Prison in Massachusetts. He conducted and ran in numerous distance races inside the prison yard, including completing and winning a full 26.2 mile marathon against inmates.[5]

In 1980, he ran in the Wrentham State School 24-Hour Run, traversing 120 miles in 24 hours throughout 31 cities in southeastern Massachusetts, ending in Foxboro Stadium during the half-time of a New England Patriots football game. Held to benefit the Wrentham State School for the Mentally Retarded, the run raised more than $10,000 for the handicapped.

In 1983, he participated in the Jimmy Fund 24-Hour Swim, swimming for 24 consecutive hours in the Olympic-size Medford High School pool, which totaled 1,884 lengths and covering 26.2 miles (distance of the Boston Marathon), again raising funds for the Jimmy Fund. Also in 1983, McGillivray took part in the Merrimack College New England Bike Ride where he cycled more than 1,000 miles throughout six New England states in 14 days to raise money for a scholarship fund for his alma mater, Merrimack College. In 1986, McGillivray biked again for 24 consecutive hours around a five-mile loop course in Medford, Massachusetts while simultaneously directing the annual Bay State Triathlon being held on the course at the same time. He covered a total of 385 miles, again raising money for the Jimmy Fund.[2]

In 2004, McGillivray and other marathon runners ran across the U.S. following the same path he took in 1978, raising $300,000 for five charities benefiting children. Each year McGillivray runs his birthday age in miles, a tradition he started when he was 12 and realized that running was his passion. McGillivray has also run the Boston Marathon each year since 1973; the first 16 years as an entrant and since working with the race as its director, has run the course after his duties are completed.[6] In 2006, McGillivray wrote “The Last Pick”[1] with writer Linda Glass Fechter, chronicling his childhood as the last pick for team sports because of his small stature, telling readers never to underestimate their own ability to set and achieve goals. The book also covers his life as an athlete and race director.


Section two – Marathon BQ Audio Book Chapter – “the dark place” –



Ok my friends you have run 7 marathons in 7 days on 7 continents with 7 brides for 7 brothers to the end of another RunRunLive Podcast.  Episode 4-382 finito.

I’m going to keep it quick. 

Things are weird for me personally, professionally and athletically but I’m keeping my head above water.  I do feel a bit burnt out.  And I think I need to maybe take a couple mental health days in the next few weeks.  It comes and goes.

When things get hard I try to remember to be grateful.  How lucky am I to have all the things I have in my life?  It’s a bounty. 

What you will find is that the more you practice gratitude, the more of a self-fulfilling prophecy it becomes. 

I would love to hear what you are grateful for.  Send me some audio and I’ll put together a composition for us. 

Do it now before you forget.  What are you grateful for?

I’ll see you out there.


MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -


Direct download: epi4382.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 5:47pm EDT





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