Dick Hoyt is a dedicated father. He has completed multiple marathons and triathlons for his son Rick. Actually, he has completed them with his son Rick.
Together, they are competing for each other.
You see, Rick Hoyt was diagnosed as a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy. He cannot walk or speak, but the young man still has an amazing way to communicate with his family and friends.
And in 1977, Rick told his father he wanted to participate in a local fundraiser race for a paralyzed lacrosse player. Dick was by no means in running shape but agreed to push his son for all five miles, finishing next to last. After finishing, Rick told his dad, “Dad, when I’m running, it feels like I’m not handicapped.”
That’s all the father needed to hear to change his lifestyle and start competing with his son.
Dick began training every day with a bag of cement in a wheelchair while Rick attended school.
He has created ways so that Rick can compete in every race with him – from small 5K runs to triathlons. In the triathlons, Rick sits in a boat for the swimming portion while Dick pulls him with a rope attached to his body, and while cycling, Rick will ride in front on a specially-designed tandem bike.
What started as a simple 5-mile race became something much more powerful.
The father-son combination has completed over 1,000 races, including:
- 27 triathlons (6 Ironman distances) – best time of 13:43:37
- 70 marathons (30 Boston Marathons) – best time of 2:40:47
- 216 10Ks – best time of 35:48
This year, Rick turned 50 and Dick will be 72. It’s a powerful testament to the human spirit and bond between a father and son. The duo compete daily for each other, while inspiring countless others with their story and determination to compete.