Claim: Message describes the Hoyts, a father and disabled son who participate as a team in marathons.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, July 2008]
This is the most unbelievable thing I've ever seen. I am absolutely in AWE of this man. Please watch the video, too
A MUST Watch Video
This Father does it all just for the purpose of seeing the smile on his son's face. If you want to see the most profound reflection of the Father's love for us that you've ever
Read this and then watch the video
[Click here to expand text].
Origins: As covered in the account reproduced above (the text of which was taken from a 2005
Team Hoyt first took shape in the spring of 1977 when Rick told his father that he wanted to participate in a five-mile benefit run for a lacrosse player who had been paralyzed in an accident.
Dick agreed to push Rick in his wheelchair and they finished all five miles, coming in next to last. The pair has since completed over 1,100 races, including six Ironman competitions. They also biked and ran across the U.S. over a 45-day span in 1992. Their well-documented story is both legendary and inspirational to people all over the world.
As the Hoyts told the Boston Herald after that race, similar forms of participation with the disabled (at all levels) seem to be on the increase:
"I think there's a lot of families getting into it like this now," said Dick. "I'm not just talking about the intensity of marathon running. I've heard from people who just want to even get into this as far as taking their children out for a walk goes. I think all different kinds of people look at this as a great opportunity. We're trying to prove to people with disabilities that they belong out there."
That opened the door for Lyons, a close family friend and member of The Hoyt Foundation marathon team since 2008.
"World-class athletes, professional triathletes had said to Dick, 'hey, when you're done, I'd love to take over and push Rick,'" said Lyons, a Methuen resident who has had his dental practice in Billerica since 1996. "But it was always no. If you read any of Dick's books, neither was going to continue without the other. It was sort of shocking for him to ask me.
"My friends told me (the Hoyts) don't want the big name, they want the big heart. If that's the least that I can provide, I'm happy." The torch has now been passed to Lyons. When he talks about the opportunity to push Rick, the expression on his face tells the story. He is clearly honored, a stray tear welling in the corner of his eye.
"Bryan will be out there, and he'll do his best, we know that," said Dick. "He's a great athlete, a great person, and the type of person that we want to be pushing Rick. And Rick wants Bryan to be the one to do it."
Feifer, Jason. "Team Hoyt Inspires in Marathons, Print." [Worcester] Telegram & Gazette. 23 December 2003 (p. B1). Langone, Matt. "Billerica Dentist to Push Rick Hoyt for His Dad in Boston Marathon." The Lowell Sun 9 April 2015. Murphy, Mark. "Hoyts' Spirit Spreads; Milestone Run an Inspiration." The Boston Herald. 18 April 2006 (p. M7). Reilly, Rick. "Strongest Dad in the World." Sports Illustrated. 20 June 2005 (p. 88).