Everything You Need to Know About the Strength of the Human Spirit You Can Learn from Team Hoyt

Team Hoyt Passing by us at the top of Heartbreak Hill.

Team Hoyt Passing by us at the top of Heartbreak Hill.


Colby is busy preparing a recap of our experience watching the Boston Marathon from the top of Heartbreak Hill (preview: it was EPIC!!) and I can’t wait to read it. In the meantime, though, I wanted to put out a post about my all-time favorite team: Team Hoyt. In case you don’t know, Team Hoyt is a father-son racing team. Son Rick is a spastic quadriplegic who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. Father Dick is superman and competes in events while pushing his son in running races, cycling with him on a special tandem bike, or pulling him in a boat in swimming events. The two of them together are pure inspiration.

I’ve written about them before, and have been inspired by them for years. I was at the Boston Marathon the first year that they competed, and I was there this year, for their last. Rick plans to continue competing in the Boston Marathon, but with a different partner. Father Dick, 74 and suffering from back problems, is going to take a well-deserved rest from this event. When they passed by us at Heartbreak Hill, I had chills. And tears. And limitless respect, and an overwhelming sense of awe.

This was the 32nd Boston Marathon that Team Hoyt raced, and the 1108th athletic event that they competed in. Yes. 1108 events, including 225 triathlons, 22 duathlons and 72 marathons. They were inducted into the Ironman Hall of Fame in 2008.

1108 events.

225 triathlons.

22 duathlons.

72 marathons.


If that doesn’t restore your faith in the human spirit, nothing will.

If you want to learn more about Team Hoyt, check out their website. I promise, your mind will be blown by all they have accomplished.


11 thoughts on “Everything You Need to Know About the Strength of the Human Spirit You Can Learn from Team Hoyt

  1. Whatever you do, do not look at their photo gallery unless you’re in the mood to get that heart wrenching emotional feeling. They are amazing and I remember you writing about them previously. I love seeing the positive things like this!

    • You should have seen when they got to the top of Heartbreak Hill! The Beatles couldn’t have gotten a bigger reception. Colby and I were puddles. PUDDLES! And I get emotional just thinking of the pictures in the gallery.

  2. I did not get to see them Monday, but some friends of mine did. This is the ultimate story of a father’s love for his son.
    Dick thought he was going to do one race with his son and be done. Rick told his father that when they were in that first race he didn’t feel handicapped. He felt like everyone else. How could a father resist giving that gift to his son? That story always brings a tear to my eye.
    I love that Rick will continue to race. I would push Rick if I could.

  3. Team Hoyt is unbelievable. I seriously tear up every time I see a clip of them racing. They are so so inspiring! I also love the fact that Rick plans to continue racing with a different partner. He is truly doing something he loves, despite any hurdles confronting him!

    • I do, too. They are just such a symbol of strength, resilience & courage. I can’t even appropriately put it into words – they are just so amazing. I feel so lucky that due to geography (grew up in Boston) and my love of running, I have gotten to know their story and follow it.

    • Angela, We were like screaming schoolgirls. The whole day. A friend of mine from college invited us to a fabulous party right at the top of Heartbreak Hill near my old BC stomping grounds. Perfect day. Great company, great race, great weather. What a day.

  4. This was the only time I slowed down in the whole race was passing Team Hoyt. They are freaking BAD ASSES!! As we were passing every runner slowed down to say hi and wave. They are incredible!
    ~Side note I wish I knew you guys were on heart break I would have tried to see you!! Thanks for coming out and supporting. It was an absolutely incredible, phenomenal restoration of faith in humanity!

    • I wish we knew you were running so we could stalk you by athlete tracker and give you a special personalized cheer as you crested the hill! How was your race? What an incredible thing to be a part of. I love that they always get their due respect from runners in the races. They deserve it!

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