Rick Hoyt, a Boston Marathon regular who competed in more than 1,000 road races in a wheelchair pushed by his father, died Monday. he was 61 years old.
His death was announced by his family, who said the cause of death was respiratory complications. Hoyt’s father, Dick Hoyt, died in March 2021 at the age of 80.
“There’s a special bond between us when my dad and I are out running,” said Rick Hoyt. 2009 New York Times.
The two ran the Boston Marathon almost every year from 1980 to 2014. In 2013, Dick and Rick Hoyt won an award. bronze statue Near the start line of the race.
Together they have completed over 1,100 races, including marathons, triathlons and duathlons (combining cycling and running).
In his 2010 book Devotion: The Story of a Father’s Love for His Son, Dick Hoyt said, “I wanted to be an athlete, but I ran for Rick, who had no way of pursuing his passion.” writing. “I wasn’t running for my own pleasure. I was just lending my son an arm and a leg.”
Richard Eugene Hoyt Jr. was born on January 10, 1962 with cerebral palsy, leaving him unable to move his limbs or speak. In 1972 he began using a special computer to help him communicate. His first words were “Go to the Bruins”.
Rick Hoyt’s first road race experience was in 1977, when he volunteered to help a paralyzed lacrosse player. Hoyt wanted to show athletes that he, a quadriplegic teenager, was still active despite his challenges.
Dick Hoyt, then 37, was not an endurance athlete and had never set out to run a marathon. However, he agreed to race with his son and they completed the five-mile course second to last.
The Hoyts worked hard to finish many races in excellent times. They completed his 1992 Marine Corps Marathon in 2:40:47, and the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, and 46.2-mile Ironman run in 13:43:37.
They expected the 2013 Boston Marathon to be the last run from Hopkinton to Boston Common. However, it was stopped near mile 25 due to bombing on the goal line. But the Hoyts vowed to come back and ran the final Boston Marathon of 2014. Dick Hoyt said the delay was largely due to the time it took to prepare. chatting and hugging Fans and children in wheelchairs.
“Dick and Rick Hoyt inspired millions around the world,” said Dave McGillivray, former race director of the Boston Marathon, adding: Doing so will help others believe in themselves. ”
Hoyt graduated from Boston University in 1993 with a degree in special education. He is left with his brothers Russ and Rob. His mother, Judith Hoyt, was a longtime advocate for children with disabilities, who died in 2010. His father served in the Army National Guard and Air National Guard for 37 years before becoming an inspirational speaker, including sharing stories of his own race with his son.
Rick Hoyt was working with McGillivray and Russell Hoyt on this weekend’s race, the Dick Hoyt Memorial ‘Yes You Can’ Run Together. The family has decided to postpone the race or go ahead with it on Saturday in Hopkinton, Massachusetts.
“If you weren’t disabled, I have a list of things I would do for you,” Rick Hoyt wrote to his father in the final chapter of Dedicated.
“Top of that list: As a World Championship Ironman, I’ll do my best to pull you, push you, and pedal you, and I’ll put you through the Boston Marathon.” he said.