Episode 3-280 – Dave McGilivary – the 2014 Boston Marathon

The RunRunLive 3.0 Podcast Episode 3-280 – Dave McGilivary – the 2014 Boston Marathon

(Audio: link) [audio:http://www.RunRunLive.com/PodcastEpisodes/epi3280.mp3]

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<Introductory Comments:

Hello and welcome my friends!  I hope you all enjoyed your winter solstice celebrations.  I know you’re all enjoying those new socks and ties and scarves as you battle the elements this week.   

Today we talk with our old friend Dave McGilivary race director of the Boston marathon about what the 2014 race holds in store for us both tactically and emotionally.  There are some good insight for those of you who may be coming to our fair city this spring, and it seems many of you are.

In section one, may the gods have pity on me, I’m going to talk about diet, which is like a cat discussing dog toys.  And, in section two we will talk about running slower to get faster!

I have reached the pinnacle of my comeback from that long injury.  No, I didn’t run a qualifying marathon, but I did injure myself again!  I know, you’re rolling your eyes and sighing, I can hear you.

So what happened? 

I put in a number of great big base weeks coming out of Ft Myers.  I have aches and pains but nothing that I couldn’t run through.  Then I went up to Salisbury, MA to run the Hangover Classic, (which they have renamed the ‘winter classic’ for political correctness) on New Year’s Day. 

This year I decided to run the 10K.  I had no real feel for what my pace would be, not having done any speed work really since August.  I decided to run 7:30’s and treat it as a mild effort tempo run.   

It was around 18 degrees Fahrenheit, so comfortable racing temps.  I had a good run. I knocked out 7:17’s with a little more effort than I had intended.  I definitely felt the lack of speed work and the focus on base building, but it was fine. 

Then my kids and I did the ocean plunge.  The Atlantic Ocean wasn’t so bad at 36 degrees or so.  It’s still a shocker when you go under. There is this moment when you realize your body has ceased to function from the shock and you still need to get out of the water.  It is this infinitesimal moment of panic and a closeness to death.  It’s really quite refreshing as a way to kick off your year.

The next day I had a long run scheduled and I had to stop 45 minutes into it because apparently I tweaked a ligament on the top of my foot racing.  Bottom line I’ve been limping around for a week and I’ve had to renew my pool membership to get my pool-running back into gear.

I have to tell you that it’s great timing.  I was due for a rest week anyhow and I feel really good about my base.  I think if I manage this injury correctly I can limp into my next two marathons quite refreshed and confident! …assuming I can walk again…

My coach is brilliant.  I tasked him with the impossible goal of getting me stronger while training for Boston and running a marathon a month and he delivered by giving me a big load of long, slow, base building.  

It’s ok to overreach.

My friends, you have to go for it.  You have to set goals that stretch you.

In fact, if you want to try a disquieting exercise review your accomplishments for the last three years.  Not just athletics, but in your career, in your aspirations and in your relationships. 

I did this recently as I was refreshing my online business profile and I realized I haven’t accomplished anything of note in my job, really, anything big, in a couple years, since we sold the last company.  And I think it is because I haven’t been taking big enough risks.   I’ve basically been retired.  I can do better.  And - You can too. 

Let’s make 2014 the year we reach for the stars and live in expectation of the abundance of the universe!

On with the show.

Section one:

Diet tips for the New Year -

Featured Interview:

Dave McGilivary


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.

Professional life

McGillivray created DMSE, Inc. in 1981, a firm which manages mass participatory road race events such as marathons, 10ks, 7-milers and 5ks. He has served as the race director of the Boston Marathon since 1988. In 1998, Olympic Gold Medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson tapped him to become the first race director of the Beach To Beacon 10K Road Race in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.[7]Other races McGillivray and his team manage include the Bellin 10K Run in Green Bay, Wisconsin, the Run for the Dream in Williamsburg, Va., the Women's Half Marathon Series throughout the U.S., the Feaster Five Thanksgiving Day Road Race and as of 2012, the New Balance Falmouth Road Race. DMSE has also created several races, including the Run Gloucester! 7-Mile Road Race], the Spring Training Classic (Jupiter, Fla.) and the Run to Home Base (Fenway Park in Boston).[4] In 2003, McGillivray created the DMSE Children’s Fitness Foundation to support non-profit organizations that use running to promote physical fitness in children.[8]


·         Race Director of the Year in 2000 - Road Race Management and Running Times Magazine[9]

·         2005 Running USA Hall of Champions .[10]

·         2007 Runner’s World Heroes of Running Award .”[11]

·         2009 Jimmy Award by the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.[2]

·         2010 Fleet Feet Lifetime Commitment to Running Award[12]

·         2010 Ron Burton Community Service Award, Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association[13]

·         2011 inducted into the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame[14]

·         2011 marked “30 Years Running” with public event; Boston Mayor proclaimed March 12 DMSE Sports Day in Boston[verification needed]


1.      McGillivray, Dave (2006). The Last Pick. Rodale Press. p. 1. ISBN 978-1-59486-422-3.

2.      Dana, Farber. "Jimmy Fund". Cancer Fund, non-profit. Dana-Farber Institute. Retrieved 2 February 2012.

3.      Laffey, Kelly (16 June 2011). "The Man You Didn't Know to Thank: Dave McGillivray". Faster Than Forty. Retrieved 2 February 2012.

4.      McGillivray, Dave. "President, CEO". Race Director. DMSE, Inc. Retrieved 2 February 2012.

5.      McGillivray, Dave (2006). The Last Pick. Rodale Press. pp. 183–189. ISBN 1-59486-422-5.

6.      Abel, David. "Running Last but not Lease". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2 February 2012.

7.      McGillivray, Dave (February 16, 2012). "Joanie's Interview". Beach2Beacon.

8.      McGillivray, Dave. "Founder". Non-profit for children. Billy Sheehan. Retrieved 2 February 2012.

9.      Wolfe, Jason. "Dave McGillivray Named Race Director of the Year". Wolfe News Wire. Retrieved 2 February 2012.

10.     "Dave McGillivray Named to USA Triathlon Hall of Fame". Running USA. Retrieved 2 February 2012.

11.     Burfoot, Amby (12/07/2007). "Heroes of Running". Runner's World Magazine. Retrieved 2 February 2012.

12.      "McGillivray Receives Lifetime Commitment to Running Award". Running USA. Retrieved 2 February 2012.

13.     Wolfe, Jason. "Dave McGillivray Receives Ron Burton Award at Gillette Stadium Ceremony". Wolfe News Wire. Retrieved 2 February 2012.

14.      Vellante, John (19 December 2010). "McGillivray". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2 February 2012.


Section two:

Going slower to get faster -


Ok my eminent risk-taking friends you and I have successfully skated on the pond ice produced by the polar vortex to the end of episode 280 of the RunRunLive Podcast.  

The air is so dry and cold that you feel like the world could shatter into little pieces with the utterance of a single word.  But there is only the silence of the winter wind.  The snow falls, floating silently and filling the scene with a soft drapery.   Your breath clouds and you are filled with the pureness of simplicity and the cleanliness of isolation.

Poor Buddy is going totally bonkers with cabin fever.  I can’t run the trails with him on my dodgy ankle.  I can’t take him with me out on the roads for 2-3 hours on the leash. He’s just not getting outside enough and it makes him a sad dog.

I’m still noodling what we should do for the next iteration of the podcast.  I’m thinking I want to bring on a partner in crime for one of the segments.  Reach out for me if you think that would be fun.  Maybe a Q and A segment with a co-host each week where we answer mail bag questions.

Remember - if you talk at people they lose interest, they fall asleep.  If you involve them in a conversation they stay awake and that’s what we need to do here. 

I’ve got a ton, maybe even two tons and a hogshead, of travel and a couple back to back marathons coming up in January.  Things will get weird, but I like that.  Weird is my lingua franca, my Esperanto and my stock and trade.   If I can pull my world with me into the vortex of chaos – that is my home field advantage.

I’d really like to race Waco and pull off a BQ.  With the base I’ve built I think this is within the realm of possibility, assuming I taper well and race smart.  Ryan is starting to panic that it is a very hilly course, but hey, what goes up must come down.   He said based on last year’s results I would probably win my age group!

If the course turns out to be over-the-top madness hilly like that Bay of Fundy Marathon I could always jog it and race New Orleans the next weekend with Eric.  Or I could race both.  I’ve got the base now so that sort of warped thinking is ok in the netherworld of chaos that I inhabit.

The challenge is that if I can’t get a BQ by Jan. 31st I miss the reseeding deadline for 2014. In reality I can probably work around that.  I know people and it’s hardly in anyone’s best interest to seed me in the wrong place, right?

If I blow it in these two races then I’ll just focus on racing Boston to the best of my ability.  In my world that’s how you show respect to the old race.  If I blow them all, then I’ll worry about that when the time comes.  If I run my legs off I’ll find a competitive crawling adventure somewhere and get back to training.

If we go back to our theme of New Year’s goals and introspection I have a challenge for you.  I want you to commit to doing something epic.  Right now - Or when you get back to the house.  Sign up for something, send an email, fill out a form, call someone and kick off an epic adventure.  Do it today.  Don’t think about it.  Sign up for something epic.

It will change your life.

And I’ll see you out there.

Outro Bumper

Thanks for listening folks I appreciate your support.  RunRunLive is a free service for you because I like writing and telling stories. 

I also love to meet folks so feel free to reach out to me at Gmail or any of the other social networking sites.  I’m CYKTRussell.  And as you know that’s Chris-Yellow-King-Tom-Russell with two Esses and two Ell’s.

My Website is http://www.runrunlive.com and most if not all of this content is posted out there.   If you want the show notes to magically show up in your inbox when I publish a show in a beautiful HTML wrapper you can subscribe to the mailing list at my site.  It’s a useful thing if you are moved by something I say and would like to see if what I wrote is the same thing! It also has all the links to everything and everyone I talk to and about.

Other than that, thank you for your attention, do epic stuff and let me know if I can help.


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Chris Russell lives and trains in suburban Massachusetts with his family and Border collie Buddy.  Chris is the author of “The Mid-Packer’s Lament”, and “The Mid-Packer’s Guide to the Galaxy”, short stories on running, racing, and the human comedy of the mid-pack.  Chris writes the Runnerati Blog at www.runnerati.com.  Chris’ Podcast, RunRunLive is available on iTunes and at www.runrunlive.com. Chris also writes for CoolRunning.com (Active.com) and is a member of the Squannacook River Runners and the Goon Squad.

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Category:Running -- posted at: 11:47am EDT





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