A couple of weeks ago, we introduced you to Team Hoyt, the father-son team of Dick and Rick Hoyt, who have completed over 1,000 races together. They run as a unit because Rick’s cerebral palsy doesn’t allow him to run on his own, so Dick runs while pushing Rick in a specially designed chair. This year, on April 8th, they were honored with a bronze statue of the two of them, unveiled at the starting line of the Boston Marathon, one of their favorite races.
The 2013 Boston Marathon would have marked their thirty-first completion of this race, but they were stopped just one mile short by the bombs of two terrorists. Launching an attack that killed 3 people and injured over 264, the Tsarnaev brothers ended the marathon early for the thousands of runners who had not yet reached the finish line when the bombs exploded. The Hoyts were fortunately able to get back to a hotel thanks to a kind stranger with an SUV who gave them a ride, leaving Rick’s wheelchair behind to be claimed later.
As Boston and its community recovers from the bombing and the capture of one of the terrorists and death of the other, the Hoyts remain a symbol of perseverance and strength, and of the marathon itself. President Obama mentioned them in his memorial speech when he came to Boston, quoting Dick when he said, “We can’t let something like this stop us.” Then, during April 20th’s Red Sox pre-game ceremonies in honor of the bombing victims, Dick and Rick were there to throw one of the ceremonial opening pitches.
The team had previously thought of retiring from the marathon next year, but given the way this year’s marathon ended, they’ve vowed to return stronger than ever, to support the race that they love so much.