Thank you for considering a donation to the Hoyt Foundation to support me as a charity runner for the 2020 Boston Marathon!
If you know me you already know I am a ‘runner’, but what you may not know is the priceless gift that this sport has given to me. In February 2016, my life would be forever changed as I was invited by, my now good friend, Sadie Briggs of Team Hoyt Texas to be a pusher. The job of a pusher is simple - provide your arms and legs to a rider athlete allowing them to compete in a race like anyone else. The moment I arrived in the athletes staging area, I knew I was exactly where I was meant to be. The rider athletes and their families were buzzing and full of smiles, the energy was inspiring. It it hard for me to articulate what powers me as a pusher, it is deep in the heart and soul of who I am, it is exactly what I was made to do. I went on to push several more races for Team Hoyt Texas before our family was relocated to Kansas City. It was a tough departure for me and I floundered without my Hoyt family.
The brainstorming began shortly after the move and the next step became clear, 'Start a Team Hoyt Kansas City chapter!!!!'. Could a full time working wife and mother of 3 busy kids manage a chapter of Team Hoyt with all the justice it deserves....YES YOU CAN! The finality of my decision came while pace running in the 2018 Hospital Hill half marathon in Kansas City. I crossed paths with a father son duo in a red Hoyt Blade racing chair. The smile on Kaleb's face and the red rubber bracelet he handed to me reading, 'Kalebs Krew - Outrunning CP through INCLUSION’, was exactly the sign I needed. September 2018, marked the official beginning of Team Hoyt Kansas City. We spent our first year growing our team of athletes and families and partnering with the already welcoming and inclusive community of races in our area. This chapter exceeds anything I could ever imagined!
It is with great honor I accepted the invitation to be a charity runner for the 2020 Team Hoyt Boston, raising funds for the Hoyt Foundation.
Please visit the following link to learn about the Hoyt Foundation and all the incredible things they do to support America’s disabled young people:
Team Hoyt has become an extension of my own family! I can’t wait to do what I love with some of the best for 26.2 miles on April 20th, 2020!!!!
Dick and Rick Hoyt:
Rick Hoyt was born in 1962 to Dick and Judy Hoyt. During child birth, Rick's umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck cutting off the supply of oxygen to Rick's brain. He was diagnosed as a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy. Doctors advised Dick and Judy to institutionalize Rick, as he would be a vegetable for the rest of his life. Dick and Judy refused and brought Rick home.
Dick and Judy could tell that Rick comprehended his surroundings, even though the medical doctors continued to insist Rick was a “vegetable.” In 1972, the Hoyts raised $5,000 through bake sales, a local dinner dance and donations from friends and family. They paid that amount to a group of skilled engineers at Tufts University that built an "interactive computer" for Rick. Rick was able to see the letters of the alphabet and select the ones he wanted by pressing a pad on the headrest of his wheelchair with his head, the only part of his body he can move voluntarily. The first words Rick ever "spoke" were "Go Bruins!" The Boston Bruins were in the Stanley Cup that year and it turned out Rick was a Bruins fan.
In the spring of 1977, Rick told his dad that he wanted to compete in a 5-mile road race to help raise money for a lacrosse player who had been paralyzed in an accident. Dick, a non-runner at that time, pushed Rick for the full 5 miles. The pair finished next to last, but not last. That night, Rick typed "Dad, when I'm running, it feels like my disability disappears." That was a powerful message for Dick, and that is where it all started.
Since that fateful day in 1977, Team Hoyt has finished 255 triathlons (6 being Ironman distance), 72 marathons (32 being the Boston Marathon), 97 half marathons, and many other various distance races. Team Hoyt has a marathon PR of 2:40:47 (Marine Corp. Marathon 1992) and a half marathon PR of 1:21:12. Dick and Rick are also two of only 30 total members of the Ironman Hall of Fame. In 1996 they carried the Olympic Torch. And, in 1992 they ran and biked from Santa Monica, California to Boston Harbor, covering 3735 miles in 45 straight days. To date, Dick and Rick have competed in over 1200 races together.
Following the Boston Bruins winning the Stanley Cup in 2011, the Hoyt's received an e-mail from Bruins' defenseman Andrew Ference. The email read, "I wanted to let you know that the Boston Bruins watched and were inspired by your video prior to our Stanley Cup victory. It would be my honor to meet you and have you join me in Boston during my day with the Stanley Cup." And they did.
On April 8, 2013, a life-size bronze statue of Team Hoyt, commissioned by John Hancock, was unveiled on the lawn of the Center School in Hopkinton, just yards from the starting line of the Boston Marathon. The statue was unveiled in a 30-minute dedication ceremony. When asked about the statue, Dick said, "It doesn’t get any better than that. To us this is the Stanley Cup, this is the World Series.”
Following the tragedy of the 2013 Boston Marathon, Dick and Rick appeared on the Today show. It was that day that the Hoyts announced they would return to run in the 2014 Boston Marathon. "We’re definitely going to run next year, and we’re going to be stronger next year, and I know the marathon is going to be stronger next year," Dick said. Following the interview on the Today Show, Dick and Rick appeared on the "Katie" show.
Then on July 17, 2013, Dick and Rick received the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at the 2013 ESPY Awards. The Jimmy V Award is given to those individuals in athletics who have overcome great obstacles through perseverance and determination. The award couldn't be more fitting, with Team Hoyt's motto being, Yes, You Can!" Dick and Rick were presented the award by Boston native Ben Affleck. As the Hoyts made their way across the stage, they were greeted with a standing ovation by the room full of esteemed athletes.
On Monday, April 21, 2014, Dick and Rick Hoyt ran their 32nd and final Boston Marathon together. This year's team is comprised of carefully selected athletes from Canada and across the United States to form the 2020 Team Hoyt Boston Marathon Team. The team will be running to raise money for the Hoyt Foundation, Inc., an IRS 501(c)(3) charity whose purpose is help integrate individuals with disabilities into everyday activities so they may live fruitful and productive lives.
The Hoyt Foundation gives gifts each year of $40,000 to the Easter Seals of MA programs and to Children's Hospital Boston- Augmentative Communication Enhancement Program. The Foundation also makes various donations to camps for the disabled and therapeutic horseback organizations in the Massachusetts area.
This year’s team is again made possible by Team Hoyt’s generous sponsor, and the principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon, John Hancock. John Hancock’s continued support allows Team Hoyt to continue making differences in people’s lives.
The 2020 Team Hoyt Boston Marathon Team’s qualified and charity runners have set a fundraising goal of $125,000. Please give generously as those runners train, sweat, fight through pain, and raise funds for the Hoyt Foundation, Inc. Checks may also be made payable to the Hoyt Foundation, Inc. and mailed to 241 Mashapaug Road, Holland, Massachusetts 01521.