Team Hoyt to Run Last Boston Marathon

PHOTO: Dick Hoyt pushes Rick Hoyt as they compete in the 2008 Boston Marathon on April 21,2008 in Hopkinton, Massachusetts.
Share
Copy

Team Hoyt has become a fixture on the Boston Marathon course, but after running it more than 30 times, the father-and-son team has decided it’s time to say goodbye.

Dick Hoyt pushed his son, Rick, who has cerebral palsy, in a wheelchair for their first race in 1977. It was a five-miler, but soon the duo went on to compete in 1,100 athletic events, including more than 30 Boston Marathons. But now that Dick Hoyt is 74 and Rick is 52, they believe it’s time to slow down.

PHOTO: Dick Hoyt and his son, Rick, work out with Ricks new lightweight racing chair in preparation for the Boston Marathon on April 9, 1997.
Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
PHOTO: Dick Hoyt and his son, Rick, work out with Rick's new lightweight racing chair in preparation for the Boston Marathon on April 9, 1997.

For Dick Hoyt, the best part has been watching people first accept Rick and then embrace him.

“When Rick was born, they said, ‘Forget him. Put him away. Put him in an institution. He’s going to be nothing but a vegetable for the rest of his life,’" Dick Hoyt told ABC News. “And here he is. He’s 52 years old and we haven’t figured out what kind of vegetable he is yet.”

PHOTO: Dick Hoyt and his son, Rick, on their way up Heartbreak Hill during the Boston Marathon on April 16, 2001.
John Blanding/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
PHOTO: Dick Hoyt and his son, Rick, on their way up Heartbreak Hill during the Boston Marathon on April 16, 2001.

Rick Hoyt graduated from high school and college, and Team Hoyt has inspired people all over the world, Dick Hoyt said.

After their first race, Rick Hoyt told his father, "Dad, when I'm running, it feels like I'm not handicapped."

Their first marathon was the Boston Marathon, and if Rick Hoyt could only do one race a year, he's told his father it would be that one.

Their fans stand along the 26.2-mile route holding Team Hoyt signs.

PHOTO: Dick and Rick Hoyt get encouragement from other competitors on Commonwealth Avenue near mile 25.4 during the running of the 110th Boston Marathon on April 17, 2006.
Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
PHOTO: Dick and Rick Hoyt get encouragement from other competitors on Commonwealth Avenue near mile 25.4 during the running of the 110th Boston Marathon on April 17, 2006.

During last year’s marathon, they learned about the bombs at mile 23 and tried to run to the finish line to make sure their families and their foundation members were OK. A Good Samaritan offered to drive them to their hotel, but they had to leave Rick Hoyt’s wheelchair, which wound up in the crime zone and unavailable for two or three days, Dick Hoyt said.

“So, he got to sit in his father's lap for five hours,” Dick Hoyt said.

PHOTO: Dick Hoyt pushes Rick Hoyt as they compete in the 2008 Boston Marathon on April 21,2008 in Hopkinton, Massachusetts.
Elsa/Getty Images
PHOTO: Dick Hoyt pushes Rick Hoyt as they compete in the 2008 Boston Marathon on April 21,2008 in Hopkinton, Massachusetts.

Still, the following morning, they decided to run the Boston Marathon in 2013 in honor of the bombing victims. It’s Rick Hoyt’s favorite race, after all.

"Boston was very strong last year and they’re going to be a lot stronger this year," Dick Hoyt said. "There’s no doubt about it. I just love Boston and the people who live in Boston."

He said he was impressed the way the city handled the bombing.

"And there were like 5,500 runners behind us and people were coming out of their homes and feeding these people and letting them use their bathrooms and everything else," he said. "It was just amazing the way it was handled."

PHOTO: Dick Hoyt pushes his son, Rick Hoyt, in a specialized wheelchair during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013.
Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe via Getty Images
PHOTO: Dick Hoyt pushes his son, Rick Hoyt, in a specialized wheelchair during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013.

He said running their final Boston Marathon will be emotional, but they're looking forward to it.

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...