Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon icon Rick Hoyt announces retirement

He participated in the race with his father, Dick, for decades.

In this April 15, 2013, file photo Dick Hoyt, left, pushes his son Rick along the Boston Marathon course in Wellesley. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File
The 2021 Boston Marathon

Rick Hoyt, an icon of the Boston Marathon who completed the race for decades alongside his father, has announced he will retire.

Hoyt, 59, a quadriplegic with cerebral palsy, will no longer participate in the marathon because of health issues, The MetroWest Daily News reports.

Hoyt completed 32 races with his father, Dick Hoyt, who pushed his son in a duo on the 26.2-mile course most recently in 2014. (Rick was pushed by team member Bryan Lyons from 2015 to 2018.)

The senior Hoyt died in March at age 80.

According to the Hoyt family, Rick resides at an assisted living facility in Leicester. The drive to and from the facility combined with the time it takes to complete the marathon now leaves him away from home too long to be able to be pushed the length of the route, the Daily News reports.

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“He can’t be out of his facility for more than four or five hours at a time,” his brother, Russ, told the newspaper.

Rick, who is still able to participate in shorter road races, told WBZ he is “happy with his decision.”

The Hoyt legacy, however, will continue at the 125th Boston Marathon set for Monday.

The marathon’s inaugural “Opening Celebration” will honor marathon figures who died this year, and will include a ceremony awarding the first-ever Dick & Rick Hoyt Award, which will be presented annually to “someone who exhibits the spirit of Team Hoyt’s legacy,” the Boston Athletic Association said.

Additionally, the award comes with a Dick and Judy Hoyt Inclusion Grant, which helps families support children with disabilities so they may participate in activities with their non-disabled peers, according to the Daily News.

“People know about what my father and Rick have done through racing,” Russ told the newspaper, “but people are starting to forget that my mother (Judy) got the special education law changed in Massachusetts so that Rick could be included to go to public schools. We really want to bring back the work she did early and the work that they did together.”

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On Monday, Team Hoyt will include 13 members, including three runners who are pushing their family members as duos.

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