At the urging of Bryan Lyons, Dave McGillivray is hosting a virtual cross-country run

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Just a few weeks in the past, Boston Marathon race director Dave McGillivray obtained an e mail from his good friend Bryan Lyons.

Lyons was involved about “the devastation the running indsutry and community are suffering” and urged that McGillivray and his firm, DMSE Sports, host a digital cross-country run, replicating McGillivray’s 1978 charity run from Medford, Mass. to Medford, Ore.

After extra dialogue with Lyons, DMSE Sports launched the Medford2Medford digital run. McGillivray emailed his good friend early Monday morning – at 3:12 a.m. – to thank him for the thought. But Lyons would by no means learn it.

Lyons, a Billerica dentist who had pushed Rick Hoyt within the Boston Marathon since 2015, died in his sleep Monday on the age of 50.

“Like so many, my heart is broken over Bryan’s passing,” McGillivray wrote in an e mail to a mailing record titled “FRIENDS.”

“However, I did smile a little today as I read all the posts from so many friends of Bryan and all the amazing, caring words about his goodness and his kindness.  He was so well loved by so many of you. He made a difference in this world and really what else is more important in this world than that. He dedicated so much of his life to Rick Hoyt, visiting with him, caring for him like a brother and making it possible for Rick to continue to feel “free” whereas competing in so many street races and triathlons, similar to his caring Dad made him really feel.

“And, to boot, Bryan was an amazing athlete and runner. I will never forget his strength, determination and courage as he pushed Rick for 116 laps around the warning track in our inaugural Fenway Park Marathon a few years ago.  Every time we passed each other the son of a gun had a smile on his face even though I know he was hurting like the rest of us and he still belted out words of encouragement to the 49 other runners in the race. And, the same would happen when I passed him on my lead motor scooter in the Boston Marathon as the leaders where approaching him and Rick – I will never forget that smile of his.”

The Medford2Medford digital run, which begins June 11, shall be held in three distances: Run Across America (3,452 miles), The Eastern States (1,258 miles), and The Home Stretch (142 miles). Registration is open till the top of the occasion on August 29.

“I pledge that we will do something very special for Bryan during these next few months while conducting this special event across America that was HIS idea,” McGillivray wrote. “We will carry his message and his goodwill. We will miss Bryan but we will all make sure he is never, ever forgotten.”