On this Father’s Day at our 15th Annual Road Race we are honored to gather and tell the inspirational tale of Team Hoyt. Theirs is a story not only of a father’s love for his child. It is a story of hope, perseverance and triumph of the human spirit.
Dick, 68, and Rick, 47, have been racing since 1977. Since then, they have completed more than 1,000 competitions, including 229 triathlons, six Iron-man distances and 66 marathons. This year they ran their 29th Boston Marathon, marking a milestone 1,000th competition.
Dick Hoyt has served his family and country for thirty-seven years as a lieutenant colonel in the Air National Guard, where he learned the value of hard work and perseverance.
Rick Hoyt has shown to the world, that nothing is impossible and one person has the power to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. Born with cerebral palsy, and facing challenges many of us can only imagine; Rick launched Team Hoyt’s running career out of his desire to help someone else. A schoolmate of Rick’s had become paralyzed in an unfortunate accident, it was this opportunity to make a difference for another person who was suffering, that launched the most inspiring story in the history of modern fatherhood.
When the two took off with the other runners at that first race, according to Dick, “Folks thought we would just race to the corner and turn back.” But they didn’t. They kept running right past the corner, right through that race, to the Boston marathon and into the hearts and minds of caring, hardworking families across the world.
After that race Rick told his father that when they were running it felt as if his disability “Disappeared.” This was all Dick needed to hear. Although he had never been a runner and his body was wracked with pain from that first race, nothing would stop Dick from helping his son realize his dreams.
And what a son he has been, Rick has inherited his father’s independent spirit. He has lived on his own since he graduated with a degree in special education from Boston University in 1993. He has worked in the computer lab at Boston College, helping to develop technology that would benefit paralyzed individuals. He is currently in the process of writing a book. “He’s also been involved with Children’s Hospital Boston,” Dick says. This year, the Hoyt’s dedicated their Boston Marathon run to the hospital, asking for donations to help the Children’s Department and Center for Communication Enhancement.
They have come from having their first application to run in the Boston Marathon denied, to being inducted into the Ford Iron Man Championship Hall of Fame. Along the way they have pushed boundaries, blazed trails and proven that anything is possible with hard work and determination. It has been said, that in some ways, Dick has it easy. While the rest of us struggle to find the motivation to make it up that hill to the next mile marker, Dick has his motivation sitting right in front of him.
Today we say to Team Hoyt that YOU are OUR motivation. We thank you. May God bless and carry you forward.
Team Hoyt will be honored and take to the course at our 15th Annual Father Day Road Race this Sunday. Please join them in supporting the children of the Museum!