In the spring of 1977, Rick Hoyt told his father, Dick Hoyt, that he wanted to participate in a 5-mile benefit run for a lacrosse player who had been paralyzed in an accident. Far from being a long-distance runner, Dick agreed to push Rick in his wheelchair and they finished all 5 miles, coming in next to last. That night, Rick told his father, “Dad, when I’m running, it feels like I’m not disabled.”
This realization was just the beginning of what would become over 1,000 races completed, including marathons, duathlons and triathlons. Also adding to their list of achievements, Dick and Rick biked and ran across the U.S. in 1992, completing a full 3,735 miles in 45 days.
In a triathlon, Dick will pull Rick in a boat with a bungee cord attached to a vest around his waist and to the front of the boat for the swimming stage. For the biking stage, Rick will ride a special two-seater bicycle, and then Dick will push Rick in his custom made running chair (for the running stage).
Rick was once asked, if he could give his father one thing, what would it be? Rick responded, “The thing I’d most like is for my dad to sit in the chair and I would push him for once.”
The 2009 Boston Marathon was officially Team Hoyt’s 1000th race. Rick always says if it comes down to doing one race a year he would like it to be the Boston Marathon: his favorite race.
2013 was going to be Dick and Rick's last Boston Marathon together, but they were not able to finish due to the bombings. They vowed to be back in 2014 to finish "Boston Strong" with all the other runners, which they did; stopping many times along the 26.2 distance to take photos and shake hands of the many well wishers, and finishing with several of the runners from their Hoyt Foundation Boston Marathon team. Read more...
In 1962, Dick and Judy Hoyt welcomed their son, Rick, into an unsuspecting world — a world that would forever be changed by their presence and sacrifice. Because of complications with his birth, Rick was diagnosed as a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy. According to a CBS interview, Dick […]
It was April 15, 1991, and Uta Pippig was running in her second Boston Marathon.
As she raced with the lead pack of women, they caught up with a man pushing a wheelchair. “He was hunched over a younger man in the chair so lovingly,” she remembers. “I was so moved that I ran over to them and for a brief moment I slowed and then gave him a reassuring tap on his shoulder.”
It was Uta’s first encounter with Team Hoyt, the legendary father-and-son wheelchair racing duo, and it sparked an inspiring friendship that has seen Uta support the dynamic pair and their charity foundation for decades.
The animated man in the wheelchair, she later discovered, was Rick Hoyt, born with cerebral palsy. Pushing him was his father Dick. Together they would run in an incredible 32 Boston Marathons before Dick finally retired at 74.
After that brief encounter in 1991, Uta went on to win Boston three times. “And even when she was leading and the race was on the line she always paused to give us a hug and cheer us on,” smiled Dick, who pushed Rick to an awesome 2 hours 48:51 in one of their early Boston Marathons.
Dick and Rick are forever grateful for the monetary donations that are made to help further the education of people living with disabilities to become active members of their communities. Since the inception of The Hoyt Foundation, Dick and Rick have been working tirelessly to improve the quality of life for those living with disabilities.
Your donation will go towards the many activities The Hoyt Foundation participates in to keep this education going.
You can choose between making a donation online through our certified PayPal account, or you may send a check to the mailing address below: