Thursday, February 27, 2014

THE END OF AN ERA

The 2014 Boston Marathon, which will be contested on Monday, April 21, will mark the end of an era.

Today, Dick Hoyt announced to CBS Boston that, on Patriot's Day, he and his son Rick, would compete in their final Boston Marathon together.

Most runners are familiar with the Hoyts. Dick Hoyt, age 73, is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Air National Guard. His son, Rick Hoyt, 51, was born with cerebral palsy. Despite his physical disability, Rick displayed sharp mental skills. As soon as he was fitted with a special computer, which allowed him to communicate, he excelled in school, and went on to earn a degree in special education from Boston University.

In 1977, Rick asked his father if they could run a race together to benefit a classmate, who had recently been paralyzed. Dick, who was not a runner, purchased a special wheelchair, and trained with a fifty pound bag of cement strapped to it while Rick was at school. Rick indicated to his father, “When he ran he didn’t feel like he was handicapped.”

Since 1977, the Hoyts have competed in over 1,100 endurance events, including 71 marathons, 31 Boston Marathons, as well as six Ironman triathlons.

Last year was to have been their last Boston Marathon together, but after the bombings, which stopped them short of the finish line, they decided to finish the job this year.

Dick Hoyt plans to participate in about 20 smaller races a year with Rick, and Rick will probably continue to participate at Boston, but another member of Team Hoyt will push him.

Courage, love, determination, and dedication are the trademarks of this remarkable father/son duo. 

They have been an inspiration to all runners.

We applaud them.

They will be missed.

                                                           TeamHoyt.com Photo Gallery