By Melissa Fili
MethuenLife Writer

Dave McGillivray

The Rotary Club’s Celebration of Achievement guest speaker David McGillivray is the 36-year Boston Marathon race director (and has completed the course 51 times), a 9-time Gatorade Ironman Triathlon finisher, a philanthropist, an author, a motivational speaker …
But (maybe like you?) he’s had his moments … as a self-doubter, a “loser” and even a quitter.
Luckily he’s also had “defining moments,” and those have made all the difference.
“We all have them. Some are good, some are not so good,” he said. “But how you process them determines who you are as a person.”
Tired of being cut from sports teams due to his 5-foot-4 frame, this wanna-be pro athlete took up running at the age of 12. And he never stopped.
By age 17, he was cocky enough to think he could complete the Boston Marathon – but, with his limited training, he never made it across the finish line. Same thing the following year.
But he reassessed and devoted himself to training and being in the right mindset. In 1973, he finished the first of his 51 marathons and jump-started an amazing journey of athletics, compassion, charity work, philanthropy and more.
His life motto is, “It’s my game, so it’s my rules,” he says. “It’s your life to live, so it’s your rules to follow.”
He’s put his heart into running for charities like the Jimmy Fund and Boston Children’s Hospital, calling it his “unconventional” job. He’s now a professional “accomplisher.”
McGillivray looks back and is proud that he “just took a different path.”
He encourages people to live their dreams and never underestimate their abilities.
And when folks ask what’s his best accomplishment, he responds, “My next one!”