Boston Marathon Director Prepares for Emotional Race

Friday, April 18, 2014

Flowers lie on the finish line of the Boston Marathon on the one year anniversary of the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing, on April 15, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Andrew Burton/Getty)

Next Monday, 36,000 runners will participate in the 118th Boston Marathon. We don't know who will be the first to cross the finish line yet, but we do know who will be the last.

Longtime race director Dave McGillivray likes to wait for all the runners to finish before he hits the course in the evening. He won't turn down Boylston Street until well into the night. He has run 41 Boston Marathons and overseen the last 26.

Until last year's race, all that was on McGillivray's mind in the lead-up to the marathon was the weather, always asking himself, "Will it be warm and sunny for the runners? Or will those clouds on the horizon rain everyone out?" But this year it's the emotional weather in people's hearts that he is thinking about.

"Quite honestly, I have never experienced anything like this," he says. "I don't think there ever has been or will be a sporting event that has this level of emotion."

McGillivray says that despite heightened levels of security, from the outside, the finish line will look the same as it always has—and Monday will be another opportunity for the world to witness Boston's resilience and the marathon's spirit.


Dave McGillivray

Produced by:

Allie Ferguson


T.J. Raphael and Schuyler Swenson

Comments [2]

Frank Schorn from Glendale, New York

After hearing race director Dave MacGillivray, I looked up the BAA's history of the Boston Marathon.

Amazingly, it contains no mention of the bombing or of the strength of Boston's community in healing.

Here's my email to BAA and MacGillivray:

I am surprised and disheartened that the BAA's page on the history of the Boston Marathon covers the 2013 race by talking solely about the key finishers and "winners".

Here's your page:

Why would you omit mentioning the bombing that occurred during the race. It would seem that by that omission future generations will likely forget the context in which the race ended.

As a 9 time marathoner with a personal best of 3:47:59, I would never qualify for the Boston Marathon. But as a mid-pack runner, and as a volunteer EMT here in NYC, I far more identify with the non-elite runners.

You may not want to focus on the deaths and injuries that occurred, but that's part of the race last year, wasn't it? Today, people don't recall the names of last year's winners. We all remember what happened at the finish line hours after the elite runners were back in their hotel rooms, having lunch and relaxing.

The wound is still fresh; survivors are still working towards healing. In future years, people will begin to forget. Let's not let that happen.

Why not mention the strength of the people of Boston, and the resilience of the runners, their supporters and the whole community.

Make it positive, make it Boston Strong.

But keep it honest, won't you?

Apr. 18 2014 03:49 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

Lots of sweat and tears at this years Boston Marathon.

Apr. 18 2014 12:33 PM

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