The Boston Marathon fielded Monday the second largest number of runners in its history. About 36,000 runners registered for the race that was clouded by two homemade pressure-cooker bombs that killed three people and wounded more than 260 others at the finish line in last year’s marathon.
According to LifeNews.com Monday’s epic race, however, was the last for the father-son duo of Dick Hoyt (73) and his son Rick (52).
When Rick was born in 1962 he was diagnosed as a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy. Dick and his wife Judy were advised to institutionalize Rick, but chose to incorporate him in community life and activity.
In the spring of 1977, Rick told his father 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 handicapped."
Since 1977 the Hoyt’s have completed more than 1,000 races, including marathons, duathlons and triathlons – 6 of them being ironman competitions.
On Monday Team Hoyt wasn’t alone when they crossed the finish line at the 7:37:33 mark. Some 20 family members and supporters where there to join in the celebration.
“It was very emotional,’’ Dick Hoyt told The Boston Globe. “What was so nice about the finish, these people are fast runners but they waited until I caught up and we all came across together.’’