Dave McGillivray

Ali on the Run Show Episode 535: Beyond the Run with Dave McGillivray

“I’m like, ‘Oh this isn’t good! I’m locked inside of my own porta-john, 15 minutes before the start of the most prestigious marathon in the world, that I’ve been working on with everyone else for a year!’ And I’m in a porta-john, and no one can hear me. And if I shake it too much, it’s gonna fall over, and that’s not good! Helicopters are circling above us, so you can’t hear very well, so no one’s hearing that I’m locked in the porta-john. So I had a choice…”

Dave McGillivray is best known as the longtime race director for the Boston Marathon. (And every year, after fulfilling his race director duties, Dave returns to the start line in Hopkinton, MA, where he runs the marathon himself.) Dave is the president and founder of his own company, DMSE Sports, which is an event management business in Boston that has produced, directed, and consulted on more than 1,600 events around the world. Dave has run more than 165 marathons, he’s an Ironman triathlete, and he’s a World Marathon Challenge finisher. In this conversation, we go beyond Dave’s personal and professional accolades — less about the logistics, and more on what drives him and what he gets out of doing all of this. We talk about what it really took to pull off directing two Boston Marathons in a six-month span. (If you remember, the 2021 Boston Marathon took place on October 11 because of the pandemic.) Dave shares some of his favorite Boston Marathon memories (including an unforgettable porta-potty story), and answers the question we’re all asking: “Is racing back?”

SPONSOR: New Balance — Click here to learn more about how New Balance is supporting conversations around mental wellness in running. (And check out my current favorite brapullover, and crop top.)

What you’ll get on this episode:

  • What’s making Dave happy right now (4:05)
  • Dave’s Boston Marathon porta-potty story (10:50)
  • What were the greatest challenges in pulling off two Boston Marathons in a six-month span? (14:00)
  • On being a local celebrity on race weekends, and how Dave takes care of himself during extraordinarily busy times (24:35)
  • All about Dave’s 50th running of the Boston Marathon (33:30)
  • Dave’s most memorable Boston Marathon moments (44:30)
  • Is racing back? (1:02:00)
  • What hasn’t Dave done? (1:06:00)

For more, check out:

Dave McGillivray on Episode 424 of the Ali on the Run Show

“The Future of Running” Live 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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