Through out history non-fiction and fiction there have been many amazing duos. Batman and Robin, Abbott and Costello, and even Han Solo and Chewbacca! But none is more real and more amazing than Team Hoyt. They inspired a generation of runners and endurance athletes in general. I still remember the first time I turned on the TV and saw Rick Hoyt begin pushed by his father Dick Hoyt in a full Ironman race. I knew how hard it would be to finish an Ironman but to see them doing this together in this manner just left me breathless. Before Team Hoyt made it to the finish of an Ironman there is a much of a story to tell.
Rick was born to Dick and Judy Hoyt in 1962. As a result of a lack of oxygen when he was born Rick developed spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy. In his early years even though he couldn't speak his parents realized that Rick was very smart. His parents taught him the alphabet and took him sledding and swimming so he could live a normal life. They even sought out help to find a way to help Rick communicate. A skilled group of technicians from Trufts University setup a computer on Rick's wheelchair that he can use a cursor to point a different letters and speak to his parents.He had to use his head to tap on the letter he wanted to use. His first words to them was not Mom or Dad as you woudl expect it was "Go Bruins!" Rick was a Hockey fan and the Bruins were in the Stanley cup. Already Rick's competitive side was showing. Rick was finally allowed in school i 1975 at the age of 13. He would go on to graduate high school and from Boston University with a degree in Special Education.
In 1977 is when the running entered Rick's life or should I say the running community was blessed to have a new member join us. Rick told his father that he wanted to do a 5 mile race to benefit a Lacrosse Player who had been paralyzed in a car accident and his Dad of course said "Why not!" Keep in mind his dad was not a runner so this was going to be tough but they did it together. Finished next to last but they did it! When it was all over Rick told his dad that when he was running he didn't feel handicapped. So you guessed it, this began a path for both of them for Team Hoyt that now is legend. They began to train and race one race after the other. From 5Ks to half-marathons to even full marathons. They went on to even complete 6 full Ironman races which for those of you that don't know is 2.4 miles swimming in the ocean, 112 miles riding a bike and a full 26.2 marathon running all in the same day! All in all they have now run well over 1000 races as Team Hoyt. They travel the world and race and speak to anyone that wants to be inspired. The doctors were right when they told Rick's parents that he would never live a normal life... Rick's life is far from normal. It is spectacular due to him and his dad and all they have accomplished together. So the next time you need a little motivation think of Rick and his dad, Team Hoyt and know that we all have it easy and limits are just a myth!
Coach Rojas has 11 combined years of coaching experience at various levels including coaching a high school D1 State finalist team and 3 years in a row of a top 10 state ranking. He is passionate of the sport of running and loves to see new runners take up the sport! He wants to share a lifetime of running experience to all