Both marathon fans and fans simply of the human spirit are more than likely to know the story of Dick and Rick Hoyt. The father/son team, who make their home in scenic Holland, MA, will be running in their 30th Boston Marathon next month.
This, in itself, is a truly amazing accomplishment.
The milestone is made 26.2 times more amazing by the facts that the elder Hoyt, Dick, is 71 years old, and his son, Rick, who celebrated his 50th birthday in January, has spent his life in a wheelchair. Rick lives each day as a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy, the result of oxygen deprivation at birth.
Dick pushes Rick in a wheelchair for each and every step of the 26.2-mile event to the delight of the millions of adoring fans who know their inspiring lifelong adventure. Their entire story of inspiration can be found on their website at www.teamhoyt.com or on the pages of their best-selling new book, Devoted—The Story of a Father's Love for His Son.
As they do each year, Dick and Rick Hoyt have assembled a team of runners from Australia, Canada and around the United States who comprise The Hoyt Foundation 2012 Boston Marathon team.
The team will be running to raise money for the Hoyt Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charity whose purpose is to help integrate disabled people into everyday activities so they may live fruitful and productive lives. Friends, fans and anyone moved by their inspirational story can donate towards the marathon team's aggressive $200,000 fund raising goal at Team Hoyt Crowdrise. As of today the team has raised over $87,000 with six weeks to go before the gun sounds.
The principal sponsor of Team Hoyt is John Hancock, who are also celebrating their 27th year as sponsor of the Boston Marathon. A special thanks goes out to John Hancock from Dick and Rick and from the 45 runners that make up the 2012 Team Hoyt Marathon Team.
Dick and Rick Hoyt go to great lengths to share their Yes You Can story and are proud to be joined by some equally inspirational runners.
Doug Gilliland serves as the Team Hoyt Race Director for the Boston Marathon. He will be running his seventh Boston Marathon in April.
"We first met at the 2005 Boston Marathon Expo. I was anxious because I was 42 and had not run a marathon since I was 30. My training did not go well. My longest run was 16 miles" explains Gilliland, who lives life as a personal injury lawyer from San Diego when not running with the Hoyts.
"When I saw them, I thought of all the things they have accomplished. It gave me a peaceful feeling knowing that if they could do all these things, I could probably make it 26.2 miles. It also made me a little embarrassed about all my bitching and self doubt."
Randy Rechs, 42, of San Diego, California, is an attorney. Randy joined Team Hoyt three years ago.
During the February/March long runs last year, Rechs swore he would never do another marathon after Boston. Randy arrived in Boston with a really bad knee and a little banged up from the February/March long runs.
Gilliland, who takes the credit and the blame for introducing Rechs to the Team Hoyt team, explains, " I got to stand next to Randy during Dick and Rick’s presentation at the expo last year. Midway through, Randy turned to me with a tear rolling down his cheek (like we all did) and said, 'Dude, next year, I’m in.'”
Randy is now a 3:48 marathoner. He flew back to San Diego and also started competing in triathlons. Randy is the race director for the Team Hoyt 5k in San Diego.
Shannon Nugent, 40, San Diego, California. Shannon has three full-time jobs. She (1) is an attorney, (2) is raising three young children, and (3) is married to Randy Rechs. Shannon’s training started out slow, then she watched a Youtube video of Team Hoyt and busted out 17.5 last weekend.
Elizabeth Albee, 47, of Marblehead, Massachusetts, is an information manager that has run three marathons; this will be her second with Team Hoyt. She is looking to break her PR of 4:45. She wants to PR this year at Boston but is otherwise “Just happy to be here!”
Sheila Beerman, 50, from Elk Point, South Dakota is a business manager. Sheila is a qualified runner that has run 17 marathons with a PR of 3:56:00. Sheila will be running the Big Sur Marathon in California just two weeks after Boston. Sheila want so have fun and survive the long training runs in the South Dakota winter.
Dennis Charles, 40, of Framingham, Massachusetts, is a career coach. Dennis was part of our 2011 Boston Marathon team. Two of the Charles’ five children, Olivia and Ethan, were adopted after they lost their father in the 9-11 World Trade Center attacks. Dennis ran last year to set an example for all his children about goal setting and determination.
Carol Davis, 68, from Pompano Beach, Florida, is a speech therapist that has run nine marathons. This will be her first marathon with Team Hoyt. Carol qualified for Boston in 1999 at the age of 55 and ran it the same year. Her husband told her he was passed by the Hoyts in the early 80’s, and it inspired him to run harder.
The Davis’ daughter and son-in-law qualified for Boston this year, and it inspired Carol to contact Team Hoyt to run that historic course again at age 68.
Nicole “Nikki” DeRome, 41, from Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts is a union painter. Nikki’s mother had a degenerative condition called cerebellum disorder. After seeing the Hoyts run the Boston Marathon, Nikki asked her mother if she wanted to run in races with her.
Her mother said yes! Nikki approached a local bike shop to try and find a sponsor. But Nikki’s mom passed in May 2006, and they never ran together.
The following year Nikki ran her first half. Nikki joined our team in 2009 to run in memory of her mother and in thanks for all the inspiration the Hoyts gave them. She is now a 4:12 marathoner and will be running her fourth consecutive Boston Marathon with us this April in memory of her mother, Denise DeRome.
Brian Dillon, 37, of Issaquah, Washington, and his wife Kissy, lost their first child, Abigail Joy, when she was only six days old. Brian, a non-runner, started running as part of the grieving process. Brian has now completed three road marathons, six trail marathons and two ultras (at last count) and the Ironman World Championships in Kona.
Brian was Team Hoyt's champion fundraiser last year and will be joining the team in Boston for his second year in a row. On 11-11-11, Brian and Kissy welcomed their third daughter, Faith Perpetua, into the world.
Jennifer Famiglietti, 39, of Lexington, Massachusetts, is a social worker with John Hancock. Jennifer PR’d in her first marathon last year with a time of 4:21. John Hancock cut back the number of employee race bibs this year, so she was lucky enough to be selected as a member of Team Hoyt.
Amanda Gordon, 24, of Sydney, Australia, is a marketing manager and former cross-country runner at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. Amanda qualified for Boston while running her first Boston Marathon with Team Hoyt in 2009. She has run with the Team each year since as a qualified runner. She has a marathon PR of 3:22.
Kellyn Gowan, 26, of New Orleans, Louisiana, is an editor that has been running for three years.
Twenty eight years ago, Kellyn’s parents were in an automobile accident. It left her 18-month-old brother Ryan in a condition similar to Rick’s. Ryan endured 30 surgeries and spent much of his high school years in a body cast. Ryan lives in SoHo where he has been crowned the mayor due to his expected appearances at all local events.
On April 16, 2012, Kellyn will be running her first marathon with the Hoyts on the 29th anniversary to the day of her brother’s car accident.
Maureen “Mo” Hayes, 39, of Scituate, Massachusetts, is working raising the kids while she bikes, swims and does yoga and Pilates. Maureen has done seven marathons with a PR of 4:22. Mo spent some time at the Hyannis Half Marathon with the Hoyts two weeks ago while she nurses an injury. She will be ready to run come Marathon Monday.
Corey Hanrahan, 30, from San Diego, California, is an attorney. Corey only started running seriously about a year and a half ago. He completed his first marathon last year with Team Hoyt (Boston) and is shooting to break 3:30 this year. Corey is nicknamed the Gun Show for his startling muscle tone and dashing good looks.
Amy Halstead, 36, of Helotes, Texas, is an elementary school teacher and mother of three. With her husband deployed to Afghanistan (over 400 days now) and teaching full-time while raising three children, Amy decided to run her first marathon (RNR San Diego) last June and ran a 3:38 and qualified for Boston!
Amy teaches in an inclusion classroom in San Antonio which includes students of all abilities and disabilities. Team Hoyt is in the curriculum!
Wes Harding, 44, of Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, is a principal/teacher and a 3:11 marathoner.
Wes turned 40 in 2007 and weighed 220 pounds. He sat in church and watched a video called, “Yes, You Can, Dick and Rick Hoyt.” Wes was not a runner. But he set out on a four-year journey that will lead him to Boston this April. Wes now weighs 150 pounds and ran a Boston Marathon qualifying time of 3:11.02.
Bryan Lyons, 42, of Methuen, Massachusetts, is a dentist and the Team's newest Ironman triathlete! Bryan has run nine marathons with a PR of 4:15, and this will be Bryan’s fourth Boston Marathon with Team Hoyt.
On November 18, 2011, Bryan completed his first Ironman (Arizona) with splits of 1:13:17 swim, 5:57:27 bike and a 4:41 marathon.
David Lusignan, 36, from Woodstock, Connecticut, is an information systems director, marathon runner and triathlete. Dave has a half Ironman PR of 4:38 and a marathon PR of 2:51. He has run 5 marathons and his goal is to break his PR at Boston. Dave is another one of the Team's qualified runners.
Kristen Miller, 27, of San Diego, California, is an attorney that plays soccer and softball. Kristen has run the Team Hoyt Holiday 5k, produced by Randy Rechs, for the last two years. Boston will be Kristen’s first marathon!
Trish Newsom, 42, from Soddy Daisy, Tennessee, is a PE teacher and counselor. She participated in a group called Run for God Bible Study, where she learned of Team Hoyt and felt a calling to run Boston. She trained for only seven weeks and ran the RNR San Diego in June 2011. She ran a 3:51:51 and missed qualifying by 53 seconds.
Two weeks later, Trish entered another marathon set for September 4, 2011 (one of the last Boston qualifiers). And she qualified with a time of 3:48:59. However, due to the new qualifying procedure set in place this year, they only accepted runners with a 3:48:46 or better. Trish missed it by 13 seconds (less than half a second per mile).
Still feeling called, she applied for the Alzheimer’s charity team. Then a friend suggested she contact Team Hoyt, which brought her journey full circle.
Team Hoyt just had an alum drop due to a family situation and Trish e-mailed Team Hoyt that same day. Thirty minutes after Trish was welcomed to Team Hoyt, Trish received an e-mail from Alzheimer’s saying NO.
Anne Nozzolillo, 47, from Thompson, Connecticut, is a respiratory therapist. Anne grew up with eight brothers and five of them suffer from multiple epiphyseal dysplasia. They have endured multiple surgeries over the years and can walk but not run.
Anne walked a 26.2 miles for a charity ten years ago. This year, she is going to run her first marathon for her brothers and for all those that cannot run.
Jenny Palmanshofer, 30, of Yarrow Point, Washington, is a property manager. She is a 3:25 marathoner that also does strength training and skis, wakeboards and plays tennis. This will be Jenny’s second Boston and eighth marathon.
She recently ran the New York City Marathon in November with her husband, Christoph. Jenny joins the team as another one of our qualified runners.
Jim Pathman, 47, from San Diego, California is a technology guy. This will be Jim’s first marathon. Jim has two wonderful sons, both with CP, and they race in triathlons with Jim, Team Hoyt style, except the boys’ wheelchair is a double-wide!
Jim broke a bone in his leg in December. As of the beginning of February he was going to be cleared to run 200 yards twice a day for a week. Jim says, he has a good base and nothing is going to keep him from Boston.
Dan Quinn, of North Reading, Massachusetts, 30, is in software sales for Oracle. Dan cross-trains with 18 holes on the local golf course. He has run one marathon in 5:15, and his goal is to break 5:00 at Boston. He just ran the Hyannis Half Marathon last weekend with fellow Team Hoyt members Ian Duffy, Bryan Lyons, Mo Hayes and the Hoyts.
Morrie Ripley, 37, of Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada, was paralyzed from the neck down after hitting a moose with his car. He could not feed, wash or care for himself. Through extensive rehab, he was able to take a step and joked to his neurologist that the Boston Marathon was next. His neurologist told Morrie that was not going to happen.
That was all Morrie needed to hear. Ten years after the accident, Morrie ran his first marathon. On April 16, 2012, he will run the Boston Marathon.
Christa Robinson, 31, of Stamford, Connecticut, is a television producer. Christa has run one marathon and is looking to break her 4:33 PR. She is also into cycling, yoga and weight training.
Chris Samaras, 36, of Redding, California, is a kindergarten teacher. She is Jennifer Famiglietti’s sister. She has run nine marathons. Chris is very excited to be running this year with her east coast sister, Jennifer.
Chris ran the California International Marathon in December hoping to make a new PR of 3:20. She ran 3:10:26! Chris says she is working on perfecting the art of carbo loading. She ran her 3:10:26 without taking in food or gels.
Neil Feldman, 41, Boylston, Massachusetts, is a marathoner, trail runner and triathlete in addition to being Dick Hoyt’s podiatrist. Neil has competed in seven Ironman triathlons, a Vermont 100 miler and just completed the Stone Cat 50 miler in November.
He also finished 47th out of 2,300 participants at the 2008 Ironman Lake Placid earning a spot at the World Championships in Kona. Neil joins the Team as a qualified runner
Randolph Schultz, 62, of Douglassville, Pennsylvania graduated from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland in 1972. He was an air traffic controller with the United States Marine Corps for six years and was a manager with the Aerospace Division of General Electric.
Randy completed his first marathon in July 2010 at the age of 60. He has run two more since then as well as two 50k’s and seven 100 mile bike races. He is running Boston this year with his son Derek, a qualified runner.
Derek Schultz, 33, of West Chester, Pennsylvania is the son of Randy Schultz. Derek is a very accomplished runner and a Boston veteran. Derek qualified for and ran Boston in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Derek ran with Randy in Randy’s first marathon in 2010 (San Francisco) in addition to running Philly, New York and Chicago. Last November, Derek finished his first 100-mile Ultra Endurance run and finished in third place overall. Not a bad 100 mile debut.
Doug Smith, 42, of Louisville, Kentucky, manages a number of restaurants throughout the United States for Logan’s Roadhouse. He has run three marathons, and this will be his second in a row with Team Hoyt. Doug grew up with Randy Rechs in Louisiana and will likely be one of Team Hoyt's last standing pub crawlers.
Tammy Stapleton, 41, from Reading, Massachusetts, is a former teacher and now homemaker that swims, bikes, weight trains and does yoga in addition to running.
She has run one marathon and four half marathons. She was passed by Dick and Rick during the run leg of the Timberman Triathlon, and it inspired her to run her first marathon. She is looking to break five hours this year.
Amy Teperson, 33, of Solana Beach, California, is a project manager for Qualcomm. She moved to San Diego in 1999 and started running.
She started with two-mile runs in 20 minutes. Six years later, she ran her first half. Amy is now a 1:48 half marathoner and has completed the San Diego RNR Marathon and New York City Marathon. She is also now competing in triathlons.
Mark Teperson is married to Amy. He is originally from South Africa but has been living in San Diego for 14 years. Mark has completed 35 marathons, nine of them being ultras. He has finished four Comrades 60 milers and five Ocean 36 milers. He has completed two Ironman triathlons, one of which was the World Championship in Kona.
Mary Lou Tierney, 51, of Gloucester, Massachusetts, is project leader. She was responsible for translating the Americans with Disabilities Act for use by telecommunication devices for Motorola.
She competed in the World Short Course Triathlon championships in Queenstown, New Zealand in 2004. She is a triathlete, cross-country skier and 4:15 marathoner. Her goal is to run a Boston qualifier of 4:00 in April.
Chuck Wagner, 25, from San Diego, California, is a data analytics specialist. Chuck, a highly recruited high school lacrosse player from California, was a four-year D-3 varsity lacrosse letter winner at Whittier College in Los Angeles and team captain.
He was suddenly hospitalized with bipolar manic disorder in 2010 and was hospitalized for over a month. He called from the hospital to say he wanted to run a marathon with Team Hoyt. During training last year, Chuck collapsed 100 yards from the finish of the 2011 Carlsbad Half Marathon due to a complication with his meds. Chuck never finished.
Ninety days later, he finished the Boston Marathon. Last month, in a redemption run, Chuck finished the Carlsbad Half Marathon.
Ian Duffy, 28, of Somerville, Massachusetts, is a financial risk analyst, soccer player and cyclist. He only started running “seriously” about a year and half ago. He ran a PR of 3:15 with a serious cramp at mile 23, just five minutes from the 3:10 is qualifying for his age group.
Doug Rain, Grasswood, Saskatchewan, Canada, is a career services director. Doug cross-trains by playing hockey and curling. He was part of the 2010 team and was also the fundraising champ.
Dennis Welch and Tim Brown. Dennis, 31, of Norfolk, Virginia, is an engineering technician. Dennis runs races in Virginia pushing his friend Tim Brown in a wheel chair.
Tim, 31, also of Norfolk, Virginia, was born with a rare birth defect that has left him with spastic quadriplegia, blindness, complex seizure disorder and severe cognitive deficits. Tim’s first race was the RNR Half in Norfolk.
Since then, he has competed in three full and three half marathons. Although Dennis has a charity number through Team Hoyt, the Boston Athletic Association will only let him push Tim in the Boston Marathon this year if he runs a Boston Marathon qualifying time of sub 3:10 while pushing Tim.
Dennis and Tim will be attempting to qualify at the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach on March 18. Dennis’ marathon PR is 3:09. Mark your calendar and stay tuned!
Filling out the Team Hoyt Boston Marathon Team are:
Carlos Campos, 47, of Houston, Texas, is a physician and triathlete that has run 20 marathons. He has a marathon PR of 3:24 and is one of the Team's speedy qualified runners.
Jim Hughes, 39, of Boylston, Massachusetts, is an IT manager that is into triathlons, rowing and snowshoeing. Jim has run eight marathons with a PR of 2:57. Jim also did the Stone Cat 50-miler in November with his friend Dr. Neil Feldman. Jim is a qualified runner.
Meghan Morrow, 27, is from the birthplace of Bob Dylan, Duluth, Minnesota. She is a sign language interpreter for the deaf, plays basketball and volleyball in addition to being a 3:36 marathoner. Meghan is a talented runner that qualified for Boston this year.
Paul Tomkins, 36, of Chemano Bridge, New York, is an attorney. Paul is also a former rugby player. As he got older, his weight increased. Paul’s doctor warned him about the adverse health consequences of his increasing weight.
Last year, Paul helped Team Hoyt alum Laura Monroe raise over $11,000 for her Team Hoyt marathon effort. Laura, a gym owner in New York, is returning the favor by training Paul for the 2012 Boston Marathon, even though Paul had never run more than 2.5 miles. Paul has lost over 60 pounds and completed a 14 mile long run!
Karen White, 47, of Duxbury, Massachusetts is a project manager. Karen is veteran of six marathons and was a member of our Team Hoyt team last year. Karen is looking to have fun and take in the experience.
Todd Civin is a Senior Writer for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes and photos were obtained first-hand. He was assisted with production of the article by Doug Gilliland.