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Sports

May 5, 2013

The man and his race: Marathon director reflects on his experience in wake of bombings

Race director Dave McGillivray of North Andover, reflects on the day Boston Marathon changed forever

Dave McGillivray is an emotional guy, but he rarely cries.

Last Tuesday, sitting alone in his Boston Athletic Association office at 40 Trinity Place in downtown Boston, 15 days after the Boston Marathon bombings, he wept.

“Things added up, got a little bit heavy,” said McGillivray, a 58-year-old North Andover resident, father of five and the race director of the marathon for 25 years. “I’m not ashamed of that. I needed a little release.”

Everybody was looking for answers about the bombings and the marathon’s future, and McGillivray is usually the guy people look to for those answers.

And he didn’t have them.

The BAA chose to remain silent while the investigation was under way into the terrorist plot that led to the deaths of four innocent people and injuries to more than 200.

Finally, on Tuesday, he was able to talk for the first time, though he still didn’t have answers to all the questions.

McGillivray is one of the faces of one of the world’s biggest sporting events. In a “normal” marathon year, the weeks after the race would have been a time for rest and reflection.

Not this year.

“I’ve received about 3,000 texts and emails,” said McGillivray. “Other than saying ‘Thanks for caring’ to so many people I haven’t been able to say much.

“We are still trying to figure a lot of things out. I realize people want answers. They want to know about what we are going to do with the runners who didn’t officially finish the race. They want to know about getting their medals ... They want to know about next year. It hasn’t even been three weeks yet. We still need some time. We need people to be a little patient.”

The week before the 2013 Boston Marathon, McGillivray was a happy man. Great weather was forecast.

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