New invitational relay race brings hometown heroes together for charity
BOSTON – On Sunday, a team of seven runners completed the inaugural MassDash Relay as they crossed the Boston Marathon finish line. The invitational event, which began 21 hours earlier in Great Barrington, spanned the entire state of Massachusetts. The team ran all through the day and night, traveling by foot and by van to take on 31 relay legs and nearly 150 miles. Led by two-time World Marathon Challenge champion and Boston local Becca Pizzi, the runners completed their cross-state journey in the name of charity. Their feat drew both awareness and $10,000 in donations for the Dave McGillivray Finish Strong Foundation.
“Running is a fantastic form of exercise and an exciting sport to participate in or spectate. That said, it’s not all about competition. Miles can make an impact and that’s what the MassDash is all about,” said Dave McGillivray, founder of the Finish Strong Foundation. “As we continue to drive support for our foundation, partnering with amazing athletes like Becca and her team is powerful. I hope this journey they’ve gone on across our beautiful state inspires others to make their favorite forms of movement meaningful and to support the organizations they see making a difference in their community.”
“It was an honor to captain the inaugural MassDash relay. The sights and sounds while running across Massachusetts were exhilarating, especially with the fall foliage,” said Pizzi. “What a fun way to see the state while raising money for the Dave McGillivray Finish Strong Foundation. Huge shout out to Dave McGillivray for organizing this event and to Sam Adams for hosting our finish. See you next year!”
The MassDash relay team included Pizzi, Cheng Zhong, J.P. Caudill, Scot DeDeo, Lisa Engler, Alex Rufo, and Lixin Oin. The run, organized by DMSE Sports’ Ron Kramer and Dave McGillivray, kicked off at 2 p.m. in Great Barrington on Saturday and took the team through nearly 20 cities. A support team from DMSE Sports followed the runners, acting as a navigation guide and allowing for safe and swift transitions between each leg. The final 26.2 miles of the relay took place along the Boston Marathon route.
All seven runners finished the final mile of the relay together, crossing the finish line in unison in Copley Square on Sunday. The team continued on just another mile together to the Samuel Adams Boston Taproom, located in Downtown Boston, where friends, family, and members of the support team joined them to raise a pint glass to their successful cross-state expedition and fundraising efforts.
The invitation-only relay is expected to return next year, with more teams planned to take on the distance, raise more funds and compete for the fastest finishing time.
For more information on the Dave McGillivray Finish Strong Foundation, visit www.davemcgillivrayfoundation.org and follow the foundation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more information on Run Medford, visit www.RunMedford.com and follow the race on Instagram and Facebook.
ABOUT THE DAVE MCGILLIVRAY FINISH STRONG FOUNDATION
The Dave McGillivray Finish Strong Foundation seeks to inspire and empower youth across New England and beyond to increase physical activity, expand literacy, and build community and self-esteem though running, reading, and performing acts of kindness. Their vision is rooted in a belief that discovering a passion for physical activity, reading, and acts of kindness at a young age gives individuals self-confidence and self-respect, which empowers them to move forward—one step at a time. For over eighteen years, the foundation has remained committed to preparing individuals for future success and building vibrant communities. For more information on the Dave McGillivray Finish Strong Foundation, visit www.davemcgillivrayfoundation.org and follow the foundation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.