According to the station, Hoyt had been dealing with health issues recently and died in his sleep.
The Holland, Massachusetts, resident pushed his son along the Boston Marathon course 32 times, starting in 1981, with the duo becoming one of the race’s most recognizable fixtures over the years.
The Boston Athletic Association, which puts on the marathon, released a statement Wednesday afternoon mourning Hoyt’s passing, with the organization writing he “personified what it meant to be a Boston Marathoner” during his more than three decades of races:
The B.A.A. is tremendously saddened to learn of the passing of Boston Marathon icon Dick Hoyt. Dick personified what it meant to be a Boston Marathoner, showing determination, passion, and love every Patriots’ Day for more than three decades. He was not only a fan-favorite who inspired thousands, but also a loyal friend and father who took pride in spending quality time with his son Rick while running from Hopkinton to Boston.
As a leader of Team Hoyt, Dick Hoyt and his son Rick quickly became Boston Marathon legends after their first run in 1980. Pushing Rick in a custom racing chair, Dick and Rick completed 32 Boston Marathons together, including a final finish in 2014. The pair’s bond and presence throughout the course became synonymous with the Boston Marathon. Team Hoyt’s 1,000th race together came at the 2009 Boston Marathon, and in 2015 Dick served as Grand Marshal of the race in recognition of his impact on the event and Para Athlete community.
Dick Hoyt was one-of-a-kind. We will sincerely miss Dick, and are keeping his many family and friends in our thoughts and prayers.
We are tremendously saddened to learn of the passing of Boston Marathon icon Dick Hoyt. Dick personified what it means to be a Boston Marathoner, finishing 32 races with son Rick. We are keeping his many family & friends in our prayers. https://t.co/glau0ryh4R pic.twitter.com/SYmvZfezW7
— B.A.A. (@BAA) March 17, 2021
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