Sunday, September 14, 2014

Some Wicked Cool News: Interview With David McGillivray

My week went pretty well, I only did two runs so I could rest my leg.  I cut my four mile run to three because on Monday I woke up to torrential rain. It was nuts. It also didn't help that I locked myself out of the house and had to call Matt to let me in. I was soaked to the bone, although I think Matt was more concerned about my brand new expensive sneakers getting ruined! My time was 44:13.

Yesterday was my 7 miler and I think did pretty well, especially my leg isn't 100%. I went to Umstead super early, so I had to wear my headlamp. My time was 1:36:39, my goal was 1:40:00. Not bad for me.

On Friday, we took Jager to Animal Eye Care in Cary and it looks like we are good to go on his cataract surgery! We are so excited! It has been so heartbreaking him go blind so fast. The surgery has a 95% success rate and he should ideally see as soon as the surgery in over, which takes about a hour. His surgery is scheduled for September 25th.

So, now here is the wicked cool news! I have some fantastic interviews coming up in the next couple of weeks. I emailed athletes and asked if they would answer some running/fitness questions for my blog and I got some really great responses. I want to keep them a surprise so you'll keep coming back, but I promise, they are AWESOME!

The Last Pick - David McGillivrayThis week's interview is David McGillivray, who has been the director of the Boston Marathon since 1988. He impressed the world at the 100th Boston Marathon when he coordinated the largest group of participants in B.A.A. history, nearly 40,000 participants! He is known for running the Boston Marathon every year since 1973 and running his birthday age in miles every year since he was twelve years old.  He is the 2014 VIP for the Manchester City Marathon in November and will speak at the Anthem Health and Wellness Expo Saturday, November 1 at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester. You can read more about Mr. McGillivray in his book, "The Last Pick: The Boston Marathon Race Director's Road to Success" which I'm currently reading and can barely put down.

Mr. McGillivray was kind enough to answer my questions via email and I'm thrilled to share it with all of you!

Do you remember the moment you felt like a runner?

Yes, in high school when I was on the soccer team and we were doing laps around the soccer field and I would always be ahead of all the stud soccer players. The cross country coach saw me and asked me then to join the cross country team…that sort of solidified if for me!

You are the organizer for the Boston Marathon. Compare your first Boston Marathon race to last years. How have things changed? How have you changed?

Big changes. My first year was about fixing some problems at the start from the year before and I was just responsible for the start, not the entire race. In 27 years, that has all now changed for me. This past year, however, it was like starting all over again as it was a moving target not knowing what we could or couldn’t do and where we could or couldn’t go. Of course, in the end, it was the most historic marathon of all time in my opinion. A total team effort.

Do you have any rituals or superstitions?

Nothing too out of the ordinary. I call them “plans”, not rituals and they are ever changing based on the situation I am facing at the time.

Do you have a philosophy on diet and nutrition?

Yes…it is quite simple…only eat the good stuff, don’t eat the bad stuff and let your conscience be your guide. Told you it was simple and IT IS WORKING! Bonus:

What was your most epic race? Tell me about it.

Directing or running in? Directing…I’d have to say now a toss up between the 100th Boston and this year’s Boston. I called this year’s Boston EPIC so perhaps that gets the nod here! Running in – perhaps my first official Boston in 1973 where I said I would run this race every year for the rest of my life and I’m at 42 in a row now.

Any advice for new runners?

Patience, consistency and realistic expectations….the three key virtues towards succeeding.

What was your lowest point in running and how did you learn from it?

Haven’t had one yet but when I do, I’ll let you know. Even though I have not always succeeded, I’ve learned in the effort and as such I’ve turned a negative into a positive so there is really never a low point.

What do you like about New Hampshire? Any favorite spots?

Peaceful place. I like the pace of NH every now and then. Gives you time to think and reflect. And, it’s beauty…I like the hills, too. Makes you tough.


Race: Boston Marathon (surprising?)

Running shoe: Adidas

Running store: My own when I had it!

Way to relax: I don’t in the normal way…I am relaxed when I am accomplishing something.

Athlete: I respect and appreciate them all…it takes hard work, commitment and guts to be a true athlete so they all rank up there in my opinion with no one above any others.

Recovery meal: Not sure I really have one.

TV show: Don’t watch much TV but my favorite when I was a kid was The Rifleman with Chuck Connors and Daniel Boone and Davey Crocket with Fess Parker.

Movie: Ben Hur

Book: The Last Pick (smile)

Singer/Band: James Taylor and Cold Play

Mantra: My Game, My Rules!

Guilty pleasure: Working out, working out and working out.

City: North Andover, MA where I live because my wife and kids live here!

Country: Australia although I still have NEVER been there!

Racing Memory: My first Boston Marathon in 1972 and dropping out…it taught me a huge lesson that we must first “earn the right” to do something before we attempt to do it.

I hoped you enjoyed the interview, you can follow Mr. McGillivray on Twitter at @DMSE. Thanks again to Mr. McGillivray for the interview, I really appreciate his time.

Look for my next interview later this week!

Last but not least least, I would like to wish my parents a happy fortieth anniversary! I can't wait to see them in November!


  1. Awesome, awesome, and more awesome!!! I can't wait to read your other interviews!!

    Great job on your 7 miles too!!