Boston Marathon

Dick Hoyt’s grandson finished his first Boston Marathon

"I know he’s looking down on us," Troy Hoyt said.

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

Seven months after the death of marathon icon Dick Hoyt, his grandson, Troy Hoyt, finished his very first Boston Marathon on Monday. And he felt his grandfather’s presence the entire race.

“I felt him the whole way,” Troy, who finished in 3:57:06, told WBZ. “When I wanted to slow down, I said I can’t, yes you can, keep going.”

Dick Hoyt died at the age of 80 in March. He had become a Boston Marathon celebrity of sorts, pushing his son, Rick Hoyt, in a wheelchair along the marathon route for more than 30 races, starting in 1981.

“He was my motor, I was his heart,” Rick Hoyt recalled.

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Rick Hoyt, 59, a quadriplegic with cerebral palsy, recently announced his retirement due to health issues.

Following Monday’s race, Troy was joined by his father and Dick Hoyt’s son, Russ Hoyt.

“I’m so incredibly proud of my son,” Russ told WBZ. “Losing my dad was so hard. But [Troy] doing this today? I love this kid. … I know he’s looking down on us. The skies opened up so he could have sunshine when he crossed the finish line. It’s incredible.”

Troy said the race was “what I expected and more,” and that he received plenty of support from his friends, family, and strangers.

“They were screaming ‘Team Hoyt, go Troy’,” he said. “It was great, all the energy.”

He also had a message for Rick, who competed in his last Boston Marathon with his father in 2014.

“Rick, I could feel those hills,” Troy said. “I knew you were laughing at me but it was worth it. It was worth it.”

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