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Rick Hoyt remembers father, Boston Marathon icon

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    BOSTON, MA (WBZ) — Rick and Dick Hoyt were staples of the Boston Marathon for decades, as the father pushed his son from Hopkinton to Boylston Street year after year after year.

Dick Hoyt died on St. Patrick’s Day, leaving a legacy no one will ever forget. Rick did everything with his father, from marathons to triathlons to 5Ks and Iron Man challenges. They even ran across America.

“When my dad was 36 years old and we lived in Westfield, we ran our first race. After the race, I could not wait to get to my computer to tell my father how I felt,” Rick told Steve Burton in an exclusive interview with WBZ-TV. “I wrote’ ‘Dad, when we are running, my disability seems to disappear.’”

It’s a father-son love story that lasted a lifetime. But it started with adversity the day that Rick was born. His umbilical cord was wrapped around his head during delivery.

“That caused a lack of oxygen to Rick’s brain, which caused brain damage and Cerebral Palsy. They said to forget Rick and put him away in an institution, he was going to be a vegetable the rest of his life,” Dick Hoyt told WBZ years ago.

That was never going to happen, and Dick and his family made sure of it. The Boston Marathon is their first love. They did it 32 times together, two hearts racing as one.

“I learned about trust. I learned to rely on him to endure physically so we could compete together,” Rick said when asked how the Boston Marathon brought him and his father closer together. “He was my motor, I was his heart.”

The most important message that Dick taught Rick: “Never give up on your dreams.”

Rick’s recent battles with pneumonia have made it so he can no longer endure long races, so he will not be in the 2021 Boston Marathon in October.

“But I will be watching the marathon on WBZ-TV,” Rick told Burton.

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