Famous in the triathlon world for pulling and pushing his son Rick through the challenging Ironman World Championship course, Dick Hoyt passed away on Wednesday. He was 80 years old. The New York Times reports that he died of congestive heart failure.
Rick Hoyt first asked his father to push him in a running race in 1977. That was a five-mile (8 km) race – within a few years they were running marathons together, first competing at the Boston Marathon in 1980. They did their first full-distance triathlon at the Bud Light Endurance Triathlon in Cape Cod, Mass., USA in 1986, then attempted the Ironman World Championship for the first time in 1988. While they weren’t successful in getting to the finish line that year, they returned a year later to complete the course. A decade later they would return to Kona to complete the race again.
The pair completed the Boston Marathon 32 times and did a total of 257 triathlon races including six full-distance triathlon events. The Hoyts were inducted into the Ironman Hall of Fame in 2008 and into the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame last year.
“Dick personified what it means to be a Boston Marathoner,” the Boston Athletic Association, organizers of the Boston Marathon posted on Twitter.