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Boston Marathon director remembers his 3,452 mile run across America in 1978

Forty years ago, June 11, 1978, I (photo lower left) started off on my 80-day, 3,452 mile run from Medford, OR to Medford, MA.  For the first month, I averaged about 43 miles a day and then upped it to over 50 miles a day as I miscalculated the distance using AAA maps and a ruler!  Geez, now I am lucky if I can do just one of those days!  Every breath seems like a cliff hanger!  Guess I should just be happy I’m still waking up every morning.  I always thought it would have been more exciting for all of us to be born, go to age 50, then turn around and go back to age zero again – then you get to do every year of your life over again…a second chance at every age instead of just getting older and older!!  My crew for my 80-day adventure of Danny Carey, Jeff Donahue, Tom Kinder and Kent Hawley were life savers.  At the end of every day, I wrote a postcard and mailed it back to some friends at the Boston YMCA.  Each card had the date, day on the road, weather and temperature, miles I ran and location I finished for the day, along with a brief message.   No computers, no cell phones, no emails, no texting, no GPS, back in those days.   One post card read,  “Started about 1:10pm from Medford, Oregon.  The Mayor and a few guys from the area track club ran with me for a while.  Only expected to do 20 miles today – very, very hilly and mountainous!  Over 5,000 ft. in elevation.  Stayed at a campsite for the night.  80 degrees and sunny,”  I wrote.   Ran 30-miles that day and finished in Tub Springs, Rt. 66, Oregon, my shortest day because I started in the afternoon.   I only had 3,422 more miles to go!  What was I thinking??   I was 23-years-old and very naïve.  That’s what probably got me through all this. (06/12/2018) ⚡AMP
by Dave McGillivray

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