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  • Writer's pictureFran Fidler

Foreword by Dave McGillivray

Updated: Sep 3, 2022


In 1978, I ran across the United States from Medford, Oregon to my hometown of Medford, Massachusetts, ending in Fenway Park in Boston, a total distance of 3,452 miles. My effort raised funds for the Jimmy Fund and Dana- Farber Cancer Institute…

Back in 1982, I directed my very first race, a triathlon called the Bay State Triathlon at Spot Pond in my hometown of Medford. Fran Fidler was a participant. At the time, I was also managing the Saucony Triathlon Team. I didn’t know Fran then but in 1983, I met him at the Tufts 10K for Women where he was hanging around the finish line waiting to talk to me. All I knew about him was that he did my triathlon the year before. There he was, waiting nervously to meet me…


I didn’t know he had a stutter or how hard it was for him at times to even introduce himself. He asked me what the criteria was to be a sponsored athlete of the Saucony team.

Fran was on the team in 1985 and 1986. He competed in numerous triathlons throughout the New England area and even volunteered where and when he could. Unfortunately, in August of 1985, he was hit by a car while cycling. The collision could easily have been fatal. As it was, Fran broke his humorous bone. It was his first time ever with a serious injury but he worked his way back into great shape and in June of 1986, he won the Equalizer, a local triathlon which consisted of a four-mile swim, a fifty-five-mile bike ride, and a fifteen-mile run. Fran then committed to doing the granddaddy of all triathlons— the Hawaii Ironman. Fran’s friends had a fundraising event at the Boston Athletic Club to help him fund the trip.

As I have since learned, and as you will learn in reading this book, Fran’s journey after returning home from the Ironman was anything but celebratory. But what has always impressed me the most about Fran is his perseverance and his commitment to overcoming obstacles, even a few self-inflicted ones. He has always tried his hardest to be a good person, a good father, a good husband, and a good friend. Through the years, our friendship has developed into one of caring and mutual respect…

…here is Fran now—at the start of a new journey…

Dave McGillivray, May, 2018

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About Dave McGillivray: Dave is a race director, philanthropist, motivational speaker, and athlete. He’s run more than 150,000 miles, most of which have been for charity, raising millions for worthy causes. He’s completed 155 marathons. Personal bests: marathon: 2:29:58. Ironman: 10:36:42. Since 1981 Dave has owned and operated DMSE Sports and has organized or consulted on more than 1,000 events, raising millions for charity and earning a reputation for his company as one of the most thorough, well- organized race management firms in the United States. (https://www.dmsesports.com/)

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