After 125 years running, the Boston Marathon was canceled for the first time last April.
Though this year’s edition will go on, it won’t happen until October. In its place this spring, event organizers accustomed to rigorous annual planning will direct their efforts toward a major vaccination rollout.
“We’d be really dialed in by now,” race director Dave McGillivray told The Wall Street Journal. “Ninety percent of the planning work would have been done.”
McGillivray has been the race director since 2001, but this year, he and his outfit DMSE Sports are assisting with Massachusetts vaccinations at various sports venues.
“They chose the right person,” Joan Benoit Samuelson — an Olympic gold medalist and two-time Boston Marathon winner — told the Wall Street Journal. “He’s a genius when it comes to logistics and large numbers of people.”
The 66-year-old McGillivray drew comparisons between the vaccination effort and his longtime position as race director.
“It’s different for obvious reasons, but it’s very similar in terms of the emotional impact,” he said. The 2014 marathon, which followed the bombing at the race a year prior, was “all about resilience and persevering and not being denied, and that’s what’s going on here.”