Amongst those crazy enough to do Ironman races, ‘Team Hoyt’ is a famous institution. Dick and Rick Hoyt are a father-and-son team from Massachusetts who together compete just about continuously in marathon and Ironman races. Together they have climbed mountains, and once trekked 3,735 miles across America. It’s a remarkable record of exertion — all the more so when you consider that Rick can’t walk or talk. At Rick’s birth in 1962 the umbilical cord coiled around his neck and cut off oxygen to his brain. Dick and his wife, Judy, were told that there would be no hope for their child’s development.
For the past twenty five years or more Dick, who is 65, has pushed and pulled his son across the country and over hundreds of finish lines. When Dick runs, Rick is in a wheelchair that Dick is pushing. When Dick cycles, Rick is in the seat-pod from his wheelchair, attached to the front of the bike. When Dick swims, Rick is in a small but heavy, firmly stabilized boat being pulled by Dick.
Watch the video below and you will be moved (Warning: it has a Christian sound track so if you are likely to be offended please turn off your speaker). This shows them at Ironman Kona. In spite of towing the boat, they were not last out of the water. I think this was the year when they had bike problems, but they still finished the ride, although got disqualified for missing the cut off. However, they still decided to do the run and you will see them passing people on the run. 140.6 miles as a team. Truly inspiring.