By Dave McGillivray
It took 1,310 miles to get here, but because of the support and encouragement of family, friends and colleagues I was able to finish my 50th Boston Marathon this past Monday evening. I was thrilled to be joined by so many dear friends and running icons along with two very special runners, my son Luke and daughter, Elle. Other friends and supporters joined us along the way and as we approached the finish line. We did exactly what we said we were going to do, start at 3pm and finish at 8pm. Our crew of Captain Ron Kramer and my brother Bob (Bmac) along with other amazing supporters managed the entire run with incredible precision and efficiency. State Police troopers once again escorted us along the entire course keeping us going and keeping us safe. The run was flawless and the smoothest ever.
I was taken back when my friend Sean Ryan presented me with a poster of my grandfather as we were passing by the Evergreen Cemetery where he is buried. It was 51 years ago that I dropped out of the race near this spot and when I vowed to come back and do it again and again and again and for the rest of my life. My grandfather taught me about “earning the right” to set goals and because of that I never dropped out of another race in my life.
We all arrived at the finish line to the cheers of literally hundreds of friends including Boston Marathon winners Meb Keflezighi, Kathrine Switzer, Joan Samuelson, Amby Burfoot and Bobbi Gibb. My other children, Ryan, Max and Chloe held the finish line break tape. I presented my bib #100 to Joyce Wade, wife of Paul Wade from Cincinnati who qualified for Boston but tragically passed away in August.
Each runner and supporter received a special 50th medal generously donated by Ashworth Awards. And, most importantly, over $100,000 was raised for the Dave McGillivray Finish Strong Foundation which inspires and empowers youth across New England and beyond to increase physical activity, expand literacy and build community and self-esteem through running, reading, and performing acts of kindness. The Foundation recently donated six running “blades” to kids with prosthetics so that they are also able to run. One of them joined us for the final stretch along Boylston Street. Pretty inspiring. And, there is still time to donate at: https://www.givengain.com/cause/62379/campaigns/23790/
Many thanks to the BAA, my DMSE Sports colleagues, my crew, Ashworth Awards, my “teammates”, my family, the media, the State Police, Eric Gilsenan for all he has done and all those who came out to welcome us at the finish line. My only sadness is that my Mom, Dad, brother Alan and Grandpa Eaton weren’t here to see it all…but then again, maybe they were.
On to #51!!