As a dad, what would you do if doctors told you that your son Rick was a vegetable and that he should be institutionalized? If you’re Dick Hoyt, you ignore the experts and prove everyone wrong.
They started with Dick pushing Ricky at short running events but quickly moved up to the marathon. The Boston Marathon in the early years wanted nothing to do with Dick and Rick Hoyt. To qualify to get into their hometown marathon, 40-year-old Dick had to run under 2:50, a time that would qualify Rick, who was in his 20s. So they went to the Marine Corps Marathon and Dick pushed Rick to an unbelievable 2:45:23 and Boston was forced to let Dick and Rick into the event.
How things have changed! Now there is a statue on the Boston Marathon course of the ultimate father and his son.
When it came to the Ironman, Dick would need to pull Rick in an inflatable boat, ride with Rick in a specially built seat on the handlebars so Dick could keep Rick fed and hydrated throughout the ride, and then push Rick in a jogger during the marathon. In 1989 they completed the swim in 1:54:06, their bike ride was 8:01:30 even though the combined weight of Dick, Rick, and the bike was 376 pounds. Then Dick ran 4:30:27 for the marathon while pushing Rick, for a finishing time of 14:26:04.
What would a father do for his son? If you’re Dick Hoyt, that’s simple: Absolutely anything!
The Story of Dick and Rick Hoyt
Dick Hoyt embodies the spirit of a parent doing anything for their child. He and his son Rick have become iconic figures, racing together, with dad pushing Rick in his chair, through some of the most brutal endurance events around. Yet while there may be a statue of them in Hopkinton now, it wasn’t always so easy for Dick and Rick to be accepted as athletes. But Dick and Rick are not two ordinary people, and the lives they have changed are unmeasurable! Dick chatted with us about his experiences racing with Rick in Boston, and at the Ironman triathlon in Hawaii.