Boston marathon competitors Barbara Singleton and Beth Craig made history today as the first mother-daughter duo to run the race as one team with a racing chair.
"Team Babsie" consisted of Craig running the 26.2 miles while she pushed her mother, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, in a specially designed three-wheeled chair known as a Team Hoyt running chair.
Southbridge Tool, based in Dudley, Massachusetts, makes these running chairs. They designed them with Boston running legend Dick Hoyt, who famously pushed his son Rick Hoyt, a quadriplegic with cerebral palsy, in the special chair in races all over the country, including the Boston Marathon 32 times.
Southbridge Tool co-owner Michael D'Dinato said "it was pretty cool seeing Team Babsie" use the chair for the marathon.
"It was pretty amazing and it feels great," he said. "Dick Hoyt told me one day we're going to change the world with these running chairs and he was right."
Singleton has lived with MS for nearly 40 years and gets around by wheelchair. She and her daughter have been running together for seven years, and were inspired to start after seeing Dick and Rick Hoyt in a race. Dick Hoyt died in March at age 80.
The mother-daughter team has run races in Virginia, Cape Cod and Washington, D.C., together. They even ventured up Mount Washington in New Hampshire, with Craig pushing her mother to the top to watch the sunrise.
At the Boston Marathon today, Craig and Singleton crossed the finish line at 7 hours, 14 minutes and 46 seconds.
"We're overwhelmed with all the cheers that we got on the route, and we're happy to have paid tribute to our Dick Hoyt," Craig said.