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Dave McGillivray’s “Running Across America: A True Story of Dreams, Determination, and Heading for Home” is a non-fiction picture book based on his 1978 3,452-mile, 80-day run across the country

August 28, 2019

BOSTON – Boston Marathon Race Director Dave McGillivray has run the marathon 47 consecutive times, directed the race for 32 years, and last year wrote his first children’s picture book about his early days with the event. But this year, his second children’s book chronicles the adventure that brought together his love of running and giving back.

Running Across America: A True Story of Dreams, Determination, and Heading for Home” is a nonfiction picture book for readers ages 7 to 10 that describes his 3,452-mile, 80-day run from Medford, Oregon, to his hometown of Medford, Massachusetts. He tells the tale of how he braved the Sierra and Rocky Mountains, millions of grasshoppers in Nebraska, days of pouring rain in Ohio, the occasional rattlesnake, and intensely sore knees. On top of it all, homesickness and doubt are constant companions as he tries to achieve his dream of running from coast-to-coast.

“Running Across America” was launched August 26 at a reception in Fenway Park—three days shy of the 41st anniversary of when McGillivray finished his cross-America run inside Fenway Park. The event was attended by more than 250 friends and supporters and coincided with the Third Annual Fenway Park Marathon. McGillivray ran and won the 10K distance of the race. Proceeds from the event benefit Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Jimmy Fund (jimmyfund.org/) and the JMBHF (jmbigheart.org).

Now for sale in hard cover via Amazon and Barnes & Noble, 5,000 copies of “Running Across America” also will be given free to children at schools throughout Massachusetts as a gift from the JMBHF when McGillivray speaks at their school.

A renowned race director, motivational speaker, philanthropist, and endurance athlete, McGillivray recently recovered from triple-bypass open-heart surgery in October 2018 and ran the 2019 Boston Marathon—just six months after surgery—on behalf of the JMBHF in support of the its mission of spreading kindness, empowering children, funding cardiomyopathy research, and supporting families dealing with pediatric cardiac conditions.

A Medford, Massachusetts, native who now lives in North Andover, Massachusetts, McGillivray, 65, is a pioneer in what is now one of the most important aspects of the endurance sports industry – combining athletics with philanthropy. He and the races he has managed through his road race event management company, DMSE Sports, have raised millions for charity, including through his legendary feats of endurance.

According to the publisher, in “Running Across America: A True Story of Dreams, Determination, and Heading for Home,” as a teenager, Boston Marathon Race Director Dave McGillivray dreamed of playing second base for the Boston Red Sox, but eventually discovered his love of running. He heard a news story about a person biking across the United States. “What a great idea!” he thought. “But instead of a bike, I’ll use my sneakers!”

Thus begins the funny, touching, true story of McGillivray’s 80-day, 3,452-mile run from Medford, Oregon, to his hometown of Medford, Massachusetts, in 1978. And McGillivray isn’t running just to chase his own dream. By making the run a fundraiser for the Jimmy Fund, McGillivray joins his favorite baseball team, the Red Sox, in making lives better for kids battling cancer.

Through 13 states, blistering heat, and being “pulled over” by a state trooper, McGillivray relies on good friends, family, a sense of humor, and sheer determination to fulfill a dream—and to help kids who can’t run.

Kids and grownups alike will be inspired by Dave’s story of passion, determination, and grit. Together, Dave McGillivray, Nancy Feehrer, and illustrator Hui Li create a story that is heartwarming, inspiring, and beautifully presented.

“Running Across America” serves as a continuation for McGillivray’s Dream Big Marathon, explained at the end of the book, which gives kids a call-to-action after reading the book: run 26 miles, read 26 books, and do 26 acts of kindness in 26 weeks. By encouraging kids to be active, keep learning, and do good whenever they can, the Dream Big Marathon helps children to build confidence in themselves to succeed in whatever they choose to do. McGillivray, in conjunction with the JMBHF, has spoken at 20 schools and donated almost 5,000 copies of his 2018 children’s book, “Dream Big.”

The book jacket also contains reviews from two Boston Red Sox legends who were part of the 1978 Boston Red Sox and were there when McGillivray ran into Fenway Park to officially end his run across the country: Dennis Eckersley, Baseball Hall of Fame Pitcher, and Jerry Remy, All-Star 2nd Baseman. A third picture book is planned that will follow McGillivray’s 2018 around-the-world marathon adventure with the World Marathon Challenge.

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