Rick Hoyt, whose late father pushed him through decades of Boston marathons and other races, has died at 61


Rick Hoyt, the man who was pushed in a wheelchair by his father for 32 Boston Marathon races, died Monday morning.

Hoyt, 61, died of complications to his respiratory system, according to a family statement posted on the Hoyt Foundation’s Facebook.

“It is with profound sadness that the Hoyt family announces the passing of our beloved brother and uncle, Rick Hoyt this morning,” the Hoyt family said in a statement Monday. “As many knew, Rick and our father, Dick, have been icons in the world of road running and triathlon for over 40 years and have inspired millions of people with disabilities to believe in themselves, to setting goals and accomplishing extraordinary things.”

Rick and his father, Dick, who died in March 2021, ran their first Boston Marathon in 1980 with a custom running chair for Rick, according to the Boston Athletic Association.

Father and son started running in races in 1977 when Rick told his dad he wanted to run a 5-mile race to benefit a lacrosse player who had been crippled in an accident, according to the Hoyt Foundation website.

Rick has completed the Boston Marathon 36 times, according to marathon organizers.

“Rick Hoyt will always be remembered as a Boston Marathon icon and for personifying the ‘Yes You Can’ mentality that defined Team Hoyt,” the Boston Athletic Association said in a statement. “We are fortunate to have been able to call Rick a friend, mentor, trailblazer and Boston Marathon finisher.”

A “Yes You Can” race is scheduled for this Saturday in Hopkinton, Mass., in honor of Dick, but the family says they will decide later whether it will be rescheduled.


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