Medford to Medford runner returns to the Rogue Valley 40 years later

MEDFORD, Ore. — A historic run across the country in just 80 days. A Medford, Massachusetts man has returned to the Rogue Valley almost 42 years after he set off on his famous run from Medford, Oregon to his hometown.

“My motto in life has always been, it’s my game so it’s my rules,” runner, Dave McGillivray said.

Dave McGillivray is always on the run, the 65-year-old has run so much he’s logged over 150,000 miles. That’s enough to have completed over 5,700 marathons. When he was just about 23, he completed a run that’s gone down in Rogue Valley history. He crossed America in 80 days from Medford, Oregon to Medford, Massachusetts.

“I’m a runner maybe I can run across [America],” McGillivray said. “As silly as an idea as that seemed at the time, I researched it a little bit and found that other people had run across the country before me. So, I thought if they can do it why can’t I?”

He dedicated that run to The Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute raising thousands of dollars for kids with cancer. He says that motivation is what kept him going. One foot in front of the other.

“By attaching it to a greater purpose, it made it a little bit easier to get off the couch and out the door,” McGillivray said. “My run across America combined running with raising money for cancer research, and that was the first time that had ever been done.”

More than four decades later, Dave is back in Medford hoping youth in the Rogue Valley can take a little something from his journey.

“It’s your life to live, so don’t let anyone let you tell you how to do it,” McGillivray said.

Dave McGillivray is the keynote speaker at the Southern Oregon Sports Commission’s sixth annual award’s banquet. If you’re interested in learning more about Dave and his story you can visit his website. 

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