Dave McGillivray

Ali on the Run Show Episode 424: Dave McGillivray, Boston Marathon Race Director

“We all have something in common. You know what it is? We woke up this morning. Not everyone else did. There’s the best reason to go for a run.”

Dave McGillivray is many things — philanthropist, motivational speaker, 166-time marathoner with a 2:29 PR, Ironman triathlete with a 10:36 PR, father, World Marathon Challenge finisher — but he is best known for his role as race director of the Boston Marathon. On this episode, Dave talks about what runners can expect at this year’s race. As the “boots on the ground guy,” Dave oversees everything that happens on race day, from the start line to the finish and every mile in between. But Dave’s day doesn’t end when the final finisher crosses the line: Every year after the official race concludes, Dave returns to the start line in Hopkinton and runs his Boston Marathon. Another famous Dave tradition: Every year on his birthday, Dave runs his age in miles. He’s been doing this since he was 12 and hasn’t missed a year yet. (This year, Dave is 67.) Dave cares deeply about this sport and the running community, and nearly everything he does, both personally and as the owner and founder of DMSE Sports, is for a greater purpose. This year, Dave served as a logistician for Covid-19 mass vaccination sites including Gillette Stadium and Fenway Park, and helped vaccinate 1.3 million people.

SPONSOR: AfterShokz — Visit ontherun.aftershokz.com for 15% off wireless headphones.

What you’ll get on this episode:

  • Dave’s advice for World Marathon Challenge hopefuls (11:30)
  • Dave’s morning routine (14:30)
  • What’s top of mind for Dave, one month out from Marathon Monday? (19:20)
  • What goes into choosing a race event date? (37:20)
  • What race day is like for Dave — and all about his post-race tradition (47:45)
  • Dave’s favorite part of race day, and his favorite Boston Marathon memories (55:15)
  • What unites runners? (1:03:40)
  • The role running plays in Dave’s life right now (1:09:50)

Check it out:

“The Future of Running” Live Show

Deirdre Keane on Episode 422 of the Ali on the Run Show

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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