Dave McGillivray has worked with the Boston Marathon since 1988, and has run the race course each year in the evening on Marathon Monday. Associated Press/Mary Schwalm

We are getting used to the new normal. Staying home and staying safe have become the mottos of 2020, and it’s no longer strange that we walk around the house, unshaven, wearing sweat pants.

Yet reminders of the lives we have put on pause continue to surface.

My phone gives me daily reminders of Boston Red Sox games that aren’t being played. The daily pop-up conjures different reactions depending on my state of mind at the moment. Some days it’s a nice reminder that we are in the time of year where baseball is settling into its routine. A reminder that life used to be normal and will be again. Someday.

Monday’s reminder wasn’t as nice.

“Cleveland Indians vs. Boston Red Sox, 11:05 a.m.” was the reminder in its entirety. It was the “11:05” that stopped me in my tracks.

The Red Sox only play one game with a morning start, and that’s the Patriots Day game scheduled to coincide with the running of the Boston Marathon. That race was postponed and has been rescheduled for Monday, Sept. 14.

Race Director Dave McGillivray talks to a group of runners at the start of the 2017 Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass. Associated Press/Mary Schwalm

Dave McGillivray, race director for the Boston Athletic Association, wasn’t waiting around until September to run his 26.2 miles. McGillivray has run the race 47 times and there was no way he’d stay home on Marathon Monday. So he hit the streets near his house in the suburbs and got his run in.

“I wouldn’t know what else to do with myself on Patriots Day,” said McGillivray.

It’s no surprise Dave found a way to run his race. He’s managed to do it for each of the 33 years he has worked with the Boston Marathon, starting at 8 p.m. and not finishing until 11. He’s finished dead last in the race all those years, and wouldn’t have it any other way.

So while the route was different, the finish felt the same. The accomplishment of a job well done. He even placed a replica of the BAA finish line in front of his house.

McGillivray oversees the administration of many races around the country, including Joan Benoit Samuelson’s Beach to Beacon 10K in Maine. That’s scheduled for Aug. 1, but there’s no way to know if it’ll happen.

It’s hard to talk about the marathon without talking about 2013, when two bombs went off near the finish line and changed life in Boston forever. Last week we commemorated that day on One Boston Day on April 15. It was created to keep the race itself separate from the memories of that heartbreaking day.

On One Boston Day we remember the tragedy of that bombing, and the triumph of the men and woman who showed such courage in the hours and days that followed. We celebrate the resiliency of this great city.

In 2013 baseball helped Boston get back on its feet, with a triumphant return and a snapshot of what it meant to be “Boston Strong.”

Now, we wait for sports to return so we can get back out and celebrate the little victories in life.

For McGillivray, running a marathon again this year is another victory for a man who has been running all his life. His neighborhood race on Monday was an important reminder that we can still take care of ourselves individually, even if we can’t come together as a group for the time being.

Tom Caron is a studio host for Red Sox broadcasts on NESN.


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