Dave McGillivray – Race Director
David McGillivray first gained national prominence in 1978 when he ran across the United States to raise money for charity. Since then, McGillivray has accomplished numerous other inspirational and charitable feats, as well as earned a reputation as one of the world’s premier race directors.
President and Founder of DMSE Sports – the company and its 75+ consultants manage more than 30 major road races and charitable events per year. In addition to the TD Beach to Beacon 10K, DMSE Sports manages the B.A.A. Boston Marathon, Feaster Five Thanksgiving Day Road Race, Harvard Pilgrim Finish at the 50 at Patriot Place, the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk, and the ASICS Falmouth Road Race, to name a few.
Since 1981, DMSE has organized or consulted on more than 1,000 events, raising millions for charity and earning a reputation as one of the most thorough, well-organized race management firms in the U.S. DMSE Sports’ first event — the Bay State Triathlon at Wright’s Pond in Medford, MA — attracted 100 participants and was one of the first triathlons ever held in New England and the nation. McGillivray had competed in the 1980 Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii and brought the concept back to his native Northeast. A triathlete for years, McGillivray competed in nine Ironman triathlons and introduced the inspirational father-son team of Rick and Dick Hoyt to the sport. In January of 2011, he was inducted into the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame.
Triathlons were just the beginning for DMSE Sports. As the group organized more athletic events, McGillivray and his staff quickly earned a reputation as detail-minded, safety-oriented, and creative thinkers in the competitive arena of event management. In 1988, the B.A.A Boston Marathon noticed and appointed McGillivray technical director of the world-famous marathon, and in 2001 he was appointed race director — a title he holds today.
As DMSE Sports grew, McGillivray added to his team, handpicking the best in start- and finish-line management, lead vehicle programs, runner registration and results, while working with local volunteers, race committees and police and fire departments to create a smooth operation come race day. So when Olympic Gold Medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson had an idea for a road race in her hometown of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, she reached out to McGillivray and his team. The TD Beach to Beacon 10K was launched in 1998 (then called the Peoples Heritage Bank Beach to Beacon 10K) and is now among the most popular on the U.S. road race circuit, attracting some of the world’s fastest elite athletes and drawing rave reviews from participants.
Others noticed as well. From the Bellin Run in Green Bay, WI, to the Run to Home Base at Fenway Park, DMSE race is known for being safe, organized, technically advanced and produced without flaws. In 2000, McGillivray and his team received the prestigious Race Director of the Year award from Road Race Management.
Below is more specific info about his athletic achievements and professional accomplishments.
MAJOR ATHLETIC ACHIEVEMENTS
Run Across America — 1978
Ran 3,452 miles from Medford, Oregon to Medford, Massachusetts in 80 consecutive days to raise money for the Jimmy Fund. This run ended in Fenway Park to a standing ovation by 32,000 fans.
Hawaii Ironman Triathlon — 1980, 1983-1989, 2014
Competed nine times in the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon, the premier individual endurance event in the world. The Ironman consists of three back-to-back distance events: a 2.4-mile rough, open ocean water swim, followed by a 112-mile bike race and finished up with a full 26.2-mile marathon run.
East Coast Run to Benefit the Jimmy Fund — 1980
Ran 1,250 miles from Winter Haven, Florida to Boston, joined by Bob Hall, a pioneer in wheelchair marathoning, to raise money for the Jimmy Fund. Met with President Carter at the White House during run.
Wrentham State School 24-Hour Run — 1980
Designated as the “Run For Our Dreams Marathon,” this run traversed 120 miles in 24 hours through 31 communities in southeastern Mass., ending in Foxboro Stadium at halftime of a Pats game. Held to benefit the Wrentham State School for the Mentally Retarded, raised more than $10,000 for the handicapped.
Empire State Building Run-Up — 1981
The 4th Annual Empire State Building Run-Up. Course description: 86 stories, 1,575 steps, 1,050 feet in elevation, 40′ stair height. Finished in 10th place overall in a time of 13 minutes, 27 seconds.
New England Run — 1981
Triathloned (ran, cycled and swam) 1,522 miles throughout the six N.E. states, raising $55,000 for the Jimmy Fund. Unusual segments included running up and down Mt. Washington in N.H., swimming two miles across Lake Winnipesaukee, and running three miles with inmates inside Walpole State Prison.
The Occluded Run For The Blind — 1982
Ran the 1982 Boston Marathon in a time of 3:14 while completely blindfolded and while being escorted by two guides. Raised more than $10,000 for the Carroll Center for the Blind in Newton, Mass.
Martha’s Vineyard Swim — 1982
Officially completed his New England run by swimming more than seven miles from Martha’s Vineyard to Falmouth, Mass., again raising more money for the Jimmy Fund. McGillivray was greeted by thousands on shore including some of the world’s greatest runners, including Alberto Salazar.
Jimmy Fund 24-Hour Swim — 1983
Swam for 24 consecutive hours in the Olympic-size Medford HS pool, swimming a total of 1,884 lengths and covering 26.27 miles (distance of the Boston Marathon) to raise money for the Jimmy Fund.
Merrimack College New England Bike Ride — 1983
Bicycled more than 1,000 miles throughout six New England states in 14 days to raise money for a scholarship fund for Merrimack College, his alma mater.
Jimmy Fund 24-Hour Bike — 1986
Biked for 24 consecutive hours around a five-mile loop course in Medford, Mass., while simultaneously directing the annual Bay State Triathlon, being held on the same course at the same time. Covered 385 miles.
Walpole Prison Yard Marathon
Formed the first sanctioned running club inside a maximum security institution. Conducted and ran in number of distance races inside prison yard, including winning a full 26.2 mile marathon against inmates.
Annual Birthday Run — 1966 to Present
Annually and on his birthday (August 22) runs the equivalent number of miles as his age. Has not missed a birthday since the age of 12.
B.A.A Boston Marathon — 1971 to Present
In addition to serving as race director, McGillivray runs the marathon in the evening each race day.
49 consecutive Boston Marathons (33 at night), 161 marathons completed, 9 Ironman Triathlons
Personal Best: Marathon — 2:29:58; Ironman — 10:36:42
MAJOR PROFESSIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS
President and Founder: DMSE Sports is a special events management company that has produced or consulted on more than 1,000 mass-participatory athletic events throughout the world. McGillivray is also a seasoned motivational speaker who has inspired more than 1,500 audiences throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Race Director: Has directed or consulted on the following events:
1990 Triathlon World Championship, Walt Disney World; 1993 America’s Paradise Triathlon, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games – venue management road events; 1989-present Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk; 1998 Goodwill Games; 1997-present TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K; 2001-present B.A.A Boston Marathon; 2001Monster Challenge: Tri Boston; 2001 B.A.A. Half Marathon; 2004 U.S. Olympic Women’s Marathon Trials, St. Louis; 2008U.S. Olympic Women’s Marathon Trials, Boston; Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, 2010. Also started several new races, including the Spring Training Classic in Jupiter, Fla., the Run Gloucester! 7-Mile Road Race and the Harvard Pilgrim Finish at the 50 at Patriot Place. McGillivray and his team will once again direct the New Balance Falmouth Road Race on Cape Cod.
Agent: Has represented many of the top endurance athletes in the world, including: Karen Smyers, Scott Molina, Dave Scott, Erin Baker, Mike Pigg, Ken Glah
Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) – 1988-Present
Boston Marathon Race Director: Manages and oversees all technical and operational aspects of the oldest and most prestigious marathon in the world. Successfully coordinated all of the technical aspects of the 100th running of the Boston Marathon in 1996, which attracted almost 40,000 participants. Served as Technical Director for since 1988, Race Director since in 2001.
- Received National Marathon / Endurance Events Sport Safety and Security Professional of the Year Award – 2014
- Honored by the Challenge Unlimited at Ironstone Farm at the organization’s 11th Annual Spirit of Giving Speakeasy Gala in Andover, Mass – 2013
- Honored at the Dreamfar Breakfast of Champions in Brookline, Mass. – 2013
- Delivered 2012 Commencement Address and Received Honorary Degree in Public Service from Merrimack College
- Recognized for 25 years with the B.A.A. Boston Marathon – 2012
- Inducted into the Triathlon Hall of Fame – 2011
- Celebrated 30 Years Running of DMSE Sports in 2011
- Received the Ron Burton Community Service Award – 2010
- Received the Fleet Feet, Inc. Lifetime Commitment to Running Award – 2010
- Awarded the prestigious “Jimmy Award” from the Jimmy Fund of Boston for his 30-year association and his work with helping to raise money to fund cancer research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute – 2009
- Named “Hero of Running” by Runner’s World Magazine – 2007
- Awarded the Lazarus House “Christ the Servant Award” in 2006 for continuous dedication to the unloved and forgotten who are served by the Lazarus House Ministries.
- Proclaimed “Honorary Citizen” of the Town of Hopkinton, Massachusetts – March 2007
- 2000 Race Director of the Year – Road Race Management
- Received “Lifetime Achievement Award” from Competitor Magazine
- Contributing writer for CoolRunning website and for New England Runner Magazine
- Honorary Chairman, Annual Medford Recreation “McGillivray Mini-Marathon”
- Past Vice President of the Jimmy Fund Council of Greater Boston
- President, Board of Directors of Massachusetts Bay State Games
- Member of the Board of Advisors of the Sports Museum of New England
- Member of the Governor’s Committee on Physical Fitness and Sports
- Honorary Coach of the Massachusetts Special Olympics Team
- Medford Citizen of the Year
- Chosen one of Boston’s Ten Most Outstanding Young Leaders
- Voted Outstanding Young Man of America
Charity and Fundraising
McGillivray, DMSE Sports, and his Dave McGillivray Finish Strong Foundation have raised more than $50 million for various charities, including: The Jimmy Fund, Carroll Center for the Blind, Cystic Fibrosis, Lazarus House, Massachusetts Dietetic Association, Massachusetts Special Olympics, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD), Muscular Dystrophy Association, Sports Museum of New England, Wrentham State School
Motivational Speaking Engagements
Featured speaker at more than 1,500 motivational presentations during the past 30 years in every major U.S. city and internationally, including Canada, Denmark, England, France, Poland, and Sweden.
Clients have included: American College of Sports Medicine, Easter Seal Society, Johnston and Johnston, University of California, Raytheon Corp., Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Mass., Harvard Business School, New York Life Insurance Company, IBM, Walpole State Prison