Dick Hoyt’s son, Rick, was born a quadriplegic with cerebral palsy.  He had no control over his arms and legs and could not speak.  When Rick was 20 years old, engineers developed a computer and keypad which Rick could control by tapping his head.

When Rick was 25, he asked his father if they could participate in a five-mile charity run.  Dick was not a runner, but he pushed Rick the entire five miles to finish the race.  The experience of participating in the run was special for father and son.  Dick decided he needed to become a runner so they could compete in more events.

When Rick was 28, he and his father competed in the Boston Marathon.  Rick was pushed the entire distance in a customized racing chair.  The father/son team eventually competed in 32 Boston Marathons and became a symbol of what the marathon was about.

In total, the Hoyts competed in over 1,000 races including Iron Man competitions.  These consisted of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bicycle ride, and a marathon.  Rick was placed on a raft and pulled by Dick for the swim.  He rode in a cart behind Dick on the bicycle ride.

The Hoyts were very competitive in the races they ran.  In fact, Dick finished first in his age bracket in one event.

Dick Hoyt is the personification of devotion.  His devotion to his son was remarkable.  Hopefully, all of us have similar devotion to our loved ones.  But devotion has other forms as well.

Dick was devoted to continuous improvement.  Going from never having competed in a race, he became a serious competitor even though he was racing with his son.

Dick was devoted to helping others overcome their challenges.  He and his wife founded a camp for children with disabilities.  Dick was also an inspirational speaker giving over 100 speeches a year.

Dick was also devoted to service to his country by serving in the National Guard for 37 years.

Dick Hoyt has set the bar for devotion for all of us.  Think about how we might show his level of devotion by showing dedication to supporting our loved ones, improving our own performance, supporting others, and serving our country.


            “Yes you can.” – Inscription on a bronze statue of the Hoyts at the start of the Boston Marathon.

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