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Disabled Man, 72-Year-Old Father Will Run Next Year’s Marathon

Posted on May 08, 2013

Fifty-one-year-old Rick Hoyt of Holland, Massachusetts was born with cerebral palsy as a result of being deprived of oxygen during birth. Although he is a quadriplegic, he has completed more than 1,000 races, including 30 Boston Marathons. 

Rick Hoyt has been racing since the 1970s. It started when he told his father he wanted to join a five-mile charity run for a Lacrosse player who had been paralyzed in an accident. His father, Dick Hoyt, agreed to push his son’s wheelchair, and they completed the run together. Rick loved the experience. 

Since then, Team Hoyt, has finished 1,091 events, including 252 triathlons, 70 marathons, 94 half-marathons, and 155 five-kilometer races. Rick Hoyt has had a special wheelchair designed for racing. During triathlons, the team uses a special two-seater bike and a boat that is tied to Dick Hoyt’s waist. April’s race was to be their 31st Boston Marathon.

In 1989, the team set up the Hoyt Foundation to help young Americans with disabilities integrate into daily life through sports, school, and the workplace. The father and son give motivational speeches, to disabled and non-disabled audiences alike, around the country.

Rick and Dick Hoyt had expected this year’s race to be their last Boston Marathon. Before the marathon, the Hoyts were honored with a life-sized trophy. The team was approaching the 25-mile mark when the bombs went off. Their first thought was for their family waiting at the finish line. Fortunately, all family members escaped injury.

The Hoyts say they will compete next year in honor of all the victims of the Marathon bombing.

You can see the team’s schedule at www.teamhoyt.com.

We wish Team Hoyt luck in their future endeavors together.

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John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney of Keefe Disability Law