LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) — A 5K race was held to honor the life of the late Dick Hoyt, a Boston Marathon icon and Holland resident who pushed his disabled son in hundreds of races.
“That ‘yes you can!’ It just means you do whatever you want regardless of what challenges are in front of you. You don’t shy away from the challenge, you take them on and move forward,” Russ Hoyt, Rick Hoyt’s son told 22News.
Friends, supporters, and family gathered here in Longmeadow for a 5K to honor the life of Dick Hoyt, a local legend, runner, and beloved father. The Holland resident died at the age of 80 earlier this year. Loved ones say he led a life dedicated to his family and was an example of great determination.
“He was the just the type of guy that was always willing to give you something to push you to the next level you need to get to. It’s actually a whole family effort. So my mother, my father, and Rick is the one that inspires all of us,” Russ said.
Hoyt and his son Rick had been a fixture of the Boston Marathon since 1981, when Hoyt first pushed his quadriplegic son with cerebral palsy, in the race for the first time. Together Team Hoyt has run over 1000 races. The duo inspired athletes with disabilities across the nation.
“In my opinion, legends never die, they are always here hold on to those memories of them…they inspire the move the change…you can’t forget them,” BJ Williams, a Team Hoyt New England member said.
And as runners from all walks of life cross the finish line, many will remember the story of a father’s devotion to his family…and the great legacy it has left behind. Funds raised from Sunday’s 5K benefit the Hoyt Foundation and the 11 Team Hoyt Chapters around the US and Canada.