Rick Hoyt, a Boston Marathon regular who has run more than a thousand races using a wheelchair pushed by his father, died on Monday. He was 61 years old.
His family said the cause was respiratory problems. Hoyt’s father, Dick Hoytdied in March 2021 at age 80. Rick lived in an assisted living home in Leicester, Mass.
“When my dad and I run out there, we make a special bond,” Rick Hoyt said. The New York Times in 2009.
The pair competed nearly every year in the Boston Marathon from 1980 to 2014. In 2013, Dick and Rick Hoyt were honored with bronze statue near the starting line of the race.
They completed more than 1,100 races together, including marathons, triathlons and duathlons, as well as cycling and running.
Dick Hoyt wrote in his 2010 book, “Devoted: The Story of a Father’s Love for His Son”: “I wasn’t running for fun. I just lent my arms and legs to my son.”
Richard Eugene Hoyt Jr. was born on Jan. 10, 1962, has cerebral palsy and is unable to move his legs or speak. In 1972, he started using a personal computer to communicate. His first words, as a hockey fan, were “Go Bruins.”
Rick Hoyt’s first taste of road racing came in 1977, when he asked to participate in a race to benefit a disabled lacrosse player. Hoyt wanted to show the athlete that he, a young quadriplegic, was still active despite his problems.
Dick Hoyt, who was 37 years old at the time, was not a professional runner and did not want to run a marathon. But he agreed to enter the race together with his son, and they completed the course of seven kilometers to the last.
The Hoyts worked their way through many races in impressive times. He completed the 1992 Marine Corps Marathon in 2 hours 40 minutes 47 seconds, and completed the entire Ironman – 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run – in 13:43:37.
They hope their 2013 Boston Marathon will be their last race from Hopkinton to Boston Common. But they were stopped at about Mile 25 because of bomb at last. The Hoyts vowed to return, however, and ran their last Boston Marathon in 2014. It was slower than expected, Dick Hoyt said, mostly because it took time. chatting and hugging fans and kids on bikes.
“Dick and Rick Hoyt have inspired millions of people around the world,” said Dave McGillivray, former director of the Boston Marathon, adding: “We will always be grateful, Rick, for your courage, your determination, your tenacity and willingness to give. yourself so that others may believe in themselves.”
Hoyt graduated from Boston University with a degree in special education in 1993.
He is survived by his brothers, Russ and Rob. His mother, Judith Hoyt, a long-time advocate for children with disabilities, died in 2010. His father served in the Army National Guard and Air National Guard for 37 years and later became a motivational speaker, sharing his tribe’s story with his son.
Rick Hoyt was working with McGillivray and Russell Hoyt on this weekend’s planned race, the Dick Hoyt Memorial ‘Yes You Can’ Run Together. The family decided to do a race that was scheduled for Saturday in Hopkinton, Mass.
Rick Hoyt wrote to his father: “I have a list of things I would do for you if I were disabled.”
“Top of the list: I would do everything in my power to run an Ironman World Championship pulling, pushing and driving.
“Then,” he added, “I would run you in the Boston Marathon.”