Endurance: Dave McGillivray

5 Questions with Dave McGillivray

April, 12, 2013
Dave McGillivrayAP Photo/Chitose SuzukiDave McGillivray, Boston Marathon race director since 1988, has a marathon personal best of 2:29:58.
Dave McGillivray has one of the hardest jobs in the racing industry: getting more than 20,000 runners safely from Hopkinton to Boston on the third Monday of every April. The 58-year-old McGillivray, who founded DMSE (Dave McGillivray Sports Enterprises) in 1981, has served as the Boston Marathon's race director since 1988. McGillivray has also headed other notable running events, such as the Beach To Beacon 10K in Maine and the Bellin Run in Green Bay, Wis. When he's not putting on races, McGillivray is an ardent philanthropist and an accomplished runner himself with a marathon personal best of 2:29:58.

As the longtime race director for the Boston Marathon, what are some specific tips you can provide runners to best prepare for the race?

As most folks know, a lot of the early part of the marathon is downhill, so preparing specifically for that is critical. Be prepared for any type of weather conditions, as we have just about experienced it all here. Of course, if you live in the Greater Boston area, training on the actual course itself a few times can be a huge advantage to racing it well.

The Boston Athletic Association has made some major changes to Boston's qualification procedure. How do you feel about these changes? Do you think the race and the overall Boston experience has improved because of them? Will there be any future changes planned to registration/qualification that you'd like to see?

We needed to respond to the marketplace and we did just that. The sport has changed over the years, as we all know. More and more people are running and as such more are qualifying for Boston. Given our start and finish area limitations, we have a field-size limit and can only accept so many. The changes we made in the registration process and the qualifying times over the past few years just about solved all the issues we faced the year before, when we closed out in just over eight hours. We have only heard positive comments from runners about these changes. Our objective is about the "pursuit of athletic excellence" and these changes have gone a long way in preserving these goals and ideals.

Do you ever regret the fact that Boston cannot be certified for official world-record purposes? Would you ever want to see any change to the course that would allow it to be IAAF-certified?

I, of course, would love to see the day come soon that the current Boston course would be recognized for world-record purposes. However, I am not so sure making the changes necessary to our current course would be the direction we would ever consider given all the course dynamics in play here. However, we are constantly reviewing information at our disposal that may help to someday build a case to successfully reverse the current ruling.

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