Gloomy conditions but upbeat spirits on the final run to Fenway.
Emotional Ending to Medford2Medford Virtual Run Across America
The Medford2Medford: Run Across America was inspired by Dave McGillivray’s epic 1978 run from Medford, OR, to Medford, MA. Boston (August 29, 2020) – Medford2Medford, the virtual team running event powered by DMSE Sports that brought fellow runners together while they were apart while helping to raise over $55,000 for 20 local charities concluded a high, emotional note on Saturday, Aug. 29 at the steps of Medford (Ma) City Hall.
The M2M finishing tape displayed at Medford (MA) City Hall.
Not even the threatening rain and thunderstorms hindered the special moment. The M2M was modeled after Dave McGillivray’s 1978 epic run from Medford, OR, to Medford, MA. Over the course of 80 days, McGillivray ran 3,452 miles, averaging 45-miles a day and raised more than $100,000 for the Jimmy Fund, a Boston-based charity that supports the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
All Roads Lead to Fenway and the finish.
The M2M was suggested by Bryan Lyons, who has pushed Rick Hoyt of Team Hoyt in many races across the country for the past few years. Sadly, Lyons passed away in June right before the start of the idea he came up with. Members of Lyons’ family were on hand at Medford City Hall this morning to participate in the brief official finishing ceremonies.
Bryan’s mother Patty, brothers Mark and John, sister Berh and husband Bob and girlfriend Sandy Lehane along with Medford Mayor Breanna Lungo-Keohn held the official finishing breaktape in front of the steps of City Hall. DMSE Sports colleagues Ron Kramer, Bob McGillivray and Matt West assisted with all the ceremonial arrangements.
At 9:00am today, McGillivray, Mayor Lungo-Keohn, Lehane and two other runners, Becca Pizzi and Kelly McLay, both who have competed in the World Marathon Challenge, ran the same last 1.5 miles the McGillivray ran in 1978 from Medford High School to the steps of Medford City Hall.
Two years ago, a stone monument was unveiled at the foot of those stairs in honor of McGillivray and his 1978 historic run. The Mayor, McGillivray, Lehane and City Councilor Rick Caraviello offered a few remarks about the occasion and the overall success of the virtual run. McGillivray then made a phone call to former Medford, OR Mayor Al Densmore who was in Medford, OR to speak to all present at the finish even though he was 3,452 miles away in Oregon.
McGillivray then donated copies of his latest children’s illustrative book, Running Across America, to the Mayor and to the City of Medford, his childhood hometown and presented all the runners and Lyons’ family members with an official M2M commemorative medal.
Made it. Heavy hitters posing outside Fenway Park.
Then the runners ran the final the 7-miles from Medford to Fenway Park under State Police escort where McGillivray ceremonially finished in 1978 inside Fenway Park before a Boston Red Sox / Seattle Mariners game and in front of 35,000 cheering spectators.
The M2M event kicked off on June 11, 2020, exactly 42-years to the day when McGillivray departed Medford, OR-and today ceremonially ended 80 days later. Mayor Gary Wheeler and former Mayor Al Densmore got things started in Medford, OR by firing the starting pistol to begin the virtual version of McGillivray’s 1978 trek. Over 1,500 participants from around the United States ran, walked and / or cycled around their own neighborhoods to compete in the M2M virtual. Over 150 teams participated.
“I am thrilled with the success of the virtual M2M,” said Dave McGillivray, president of DMSE Sports and the inspiration for the M2M. “Three months ago, we thought if we couldn’t help people cross a physical finish line this summer, perhaps we could encourage them to cross a virtual one. It is more important now than ever to exercise and keep our minds and bodies fit, and to continue to help those who are in need. A lot of us needed another reason to lace up our shoes, and the Medford2Medford was that reason.”
Walkers, runners, and cyclists teamed up-and, for the more ambitious, went solo-while competing in one of three distances: The Medford2Medford (3,452 miles), The Mississippi2Medford (1,258 miles), or the Massachusetts2Medford (142 miles). Participants received real-time updates on their progress along the virtual course. As team members inputted their miles into the event’s tracking platform, they instantly saw their team’s progress along the course line.
Each participant had the opportunity to fundraise for any of the charities already partnered with the event, or for a nonprofit organization of the participant’s choosing. A total of 20 different charities benefited from the M2M. McGillivray reached out to his vast array of celebrity friends and asked if they would participate, too. Not surprisingly, he got an overwhelming response, so much so that two celebrity team of 20 each had to be formed.
The list of celebrities for the summer-long virtual event included American NASA astronaut Sunita Williams; actor Sean Astin (of Rudy and Lord of the Rings); 2014 Boston Marathon Champion Meb Keflezighi; Pete Kostelnick, the record-holder for cross-America running; Lisa Bentley, 11-Time Ironman Champion; and Mark Allen and Dave Scott, both 6-Time Champions of the Ironman Triathlon World Championships.
Participating celebrities also included Max Lane, former New England Patriots offensive lineman; Karen Smyers, Ironman Triathlon world champion; and Michael Wardian and Becca Pizzi, World Marathon Challenge champions. Local media celebrities were Steve Cooper, Ch. 7 News Reporter; Tom O’Keefe, Voice behind Boston Tweet; Lisa Hughes, WBZ Ch. 4 Award Winning News Anchor; Alice Cook, Olympic Figure Skater; Tom Caron, Sportscaster New England Sports Network; Jamie Staton, Sports Anchor / Director at Channel 9, Manchester NH.
The celebrity field also featured its share of running industry legends, such as Deena Kastor, 2004 Olympics Bronze Medal for the women’s marathon; Joan Benoit Samuelson, Olympic Gold Medalist and two-time Boston Marathon champion; Leo Manzano, 2012 Olympic Silver Medalist for the 1,500 meters; and four-time Boston Marathon champion Bill Rogers, joined by his peers Greg Meyer (1983), Amby Burfoot (1968), and Jack Fultz (1976).
About DMSE Sports: Founded by Dave McGillivray in 1981, DMSE Sports is a leader in sports event management, specializing in creating and producing mass participatory athletic events throughout the U.S. and abroad. DMSE works with the B.A.A. operations team in overseeing all the logistics and technical operations of the B.A.A. Boston Marathon and manages the TD Beach to Beacon 10K in Maine, the New Balance Falmouth Road Race on Cape Cod, the lululemon San Diego 10K, and the Bellin Run in Green Bay, Wisconsin, among others. For additional information about DMSE Sports, visit www.dmsesports.com or find DMSE on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.