Listen Live

Rick Hoyt, a fixture at the Boston Marathon who competed in more than 1,100 road races in a wheelchair pushed by his father, died Monday. He was 61.

>> Read more trending news

Hoyt’s family announced his death in a Facebook post. The cause of death was complications with his respiratory system. Hoyt’s father, Dick Hoyt, died in March 2021 at the age of 80.

“It is with profound sadness that the Hoyt Family announced the passing of our beloved brother and uncle, Rick Hoyt,” The Hoyt Foundation said in a statement. “Rick passed away due to complications with his respiratory system.”

Rick Hoyt and his father completed the Boston Marathon 32 times beginning in 1980, WFXT-TV reported. Dick Hoyt pushed his son along the 26.2-mile route from Hopkinton, Massachusetts, to Boston, according to the television station.

Their final race in Boston was in 2014.

They originally were going to make the 2013 race their finale, but they were stopped near Mile 25 due to a bombing at the finish line, The New York Times reported. They were honored with a bronze statue near the race’s starting line that year, according to the newspaper.

“Dick and Rick Hoyt have inspired millions around the world,” Dave McGillivray, a former race director of the Boston Marathon, said in a statement. “We will always be grateful, Rick, for your courage, determination, tenacity and willingness to give of yourself so that others, too, could believe in themselves.”

The duo completed more than 1,100 races together, including marathons, triathlons and duathlons, according to the newspaper.

“I was running for Rick, who longed to be an athlete but had no way to pursue his passion,” Dick Hoyt wrote in his 2010 book, “Devoted: The Story of a Father’s Love for His Son.” “I wasn’t running for my own pleasure. I was simply loaning my arms and legs to my son.”

Richard Eugene Hoyt Jr. was born with cerebral palsy on Jan. 10, 1962, the Times reported. He was born with the inability to move his limbs or speak. In 1972, he began using a specialized computer to help him communicate. His first words were “Go Bruins,” according to the newspaper.

Rick Hoyt graduated from Boston University with a degree in special education in 1993, the Times reported.

Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara ran the 127th Boston Marathon on behalf of the Hoyt Foundation in April, WFXT reported.