The running of the Boston Marathon is fertile ground for stories to inspire, but most would be hard put to find one more compelling than that of Team Hoyt. Rick Hoyt has cerebral palsy and the medical advice given to his parents on his birth was that he should be institutionalized, as there was no hope that he would have a “normal” life. Nonetheless, his parents treated him like an ordinary child and with the help of a computer device Rick was eventually able to communicate to his family, his passion for sports.
Thus it was that Dick Hoyt began to enter charity runs and compete while pushing Rick in a wheelchair. A source of much enjoyment, the pair began entering marathons and from there, progressed to triathlons. For the swim, Dick would tow Rick in a tiny boat and for the cycling portion would carry him on the front of his bike. As of 2008, they had completed 229 triathlons and 66 marathons, often finishing in the top 10% of the field with a marathon personal best of 2 hours 40 minutes and 47 seconds. A time, which is 3o minutes under the qualifying time for Open Men in the Boston Marathon.
In 2009 the duo completed their 27th Boston Marathon, Rick was 47 and Dick was 68 – sending a message to the world to include rather than exclude those with disabilities from activities that most of us have the good fortune to easily be a part of.
Never, ever give up! What does that mean to you?