Dave McGillivray shares his expertise as Massachusetts brings back road races

As Massachusetts approaches the resumption of road races, a longtime race director for the Boston Marathon says there's a lot for organizers and health officials to consider.

Gov. Charlie Baker announced last week that road races and other large, outdoor organized amateur or professional group athletic events will be permitted to take place starting on May 10. Requirements include staggered starts and the submission of safety plans to a local board of health or the DPH.

Dave McGillivray, who has been race director of the Boston Marathon for the past 34 years, says planning will need to be a cooperative, local effort.

"Instead of just making a blanket policy for everyone, that each individual community assesses for themselves their tolerance for something like this," he said.

Organizers and communities need to decide on the proper size of the event and who may be eligible to take part.

For example, McGillivray said, "Do you want runners coming in from outside of the state, from outside of New England, from outside of the country?"

He says race organizers will be trying to strike a balance between the appropriate space, time and budget for their event.

"Nothing can be more important now, given the virus situation and the mitigation process, than space and time," McGillivray said.

For its part, the Boston Marathon was postponed until Oct. 11, and the field will be limited to about 20,000. That's reduced from the 30,000 entrants allowed to race in 2019.

During the pandemic, McGillivray and his business were hired by CIC Health to run logistics for COVID-19 mass vaccination sites.

posted Tuesday May 4th
by Doug Meehan