TB12 Spotlight: Cliff Dever

Cliff Dever grew up in Southern New Hampshire with a special connection to Boston — especially around the third Monday of April, when for 16 consecutive years he watched his father run the Boston Marathon.

“Marathon Monday has always been one of my favorite days of the year,” Dever says. “I remember watching it on TV during class in the 5th grade and thinking how cool it was that he was running.”

But his father didn’t just run the Boston Marathon, he excelled — finishing once in 2 hours and 52 minutes.

“He has always been my running inspiration.” 

That inspiration led him to take up cross country when he entered 6th grade. Though he loved running, throughout middle school and high school, he was always getting injured.

“I was the kid who always got hurt — my knee, my Achilles — I just kept getting hurt.”

Despite injury, he kept running.

“I was hooked. Running became my outlet. It was a form of stress relief for me — when you’re out running, it’s quiet, and you have time to think. It’s almost like a form of therapy.”

Twenty years later, his outlet and way to stay in shape became more meaningful when he decided to give the Boston Marathon, the race he watched his father run throughout his entire childhood, a shot for himself. He ran his first Boston Marathon, in 2008, in 4 hours and 35 minutes.

“The most memorable part was turning onto Boylston Street and seeing my dad in front of Hynes Convention Center and just getting choked up.”

He then went on to run the Boston Marathon for the New England Patriots Foundation and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society over 2009, 2010, 2016, and 2018.

Despite his best efforts, he has yet to finish the Boston Marathon faster than he ran it the first year, but in the 2019 Boston Marathon, he will try to do something he has never accomplished — break the four-hour mark.

“I’m now 40 years old so it’s time to see if TB12 can help me reach my goal of breaking the elusive 4-hour marathon mark.”

Around three years ago, his wife convinced him to commit to a vital part of the TB12 lifestyle — a plant-based diet — and he believes that will help him reach his goal.

“My wife loves to cook — we started to include some of Tom’s favorite dishes into our diets, avocado ice cream and all. Since we switched over to a plant-based diet and focused on eating more plants, I feel quicker and like my body can better recover after a hard run.”

Whether it’s his wife’s banana and oat cookies or his go-to banana, blueberry, and almond smoothie, Cliff places importance on what he is putting into his body — focusing in on nutritious foods to help him refuel and recover. Food is also a big part of his life because he and his wife own and operate Warehouse Bar & Grille, a sports bar in Downtown Boston.

“My wife and I recently got into farming. There’s nothing like growing your own food and getting your hands dirty. You may even see us open our own farm in the near future.”

“Ultimately, I want to do what I can to give back and help others. That is something my parents taught me from a young age, and it’s just how I was brought up. And knowing that what I’m doing is having a positive impact on people’s lives is great to see.”

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