BREAKING: Father Known For Pushing His Son In Wheelchair During Multiple Boston Marathons Has Died In His Sleep

Dick Hoyt, the man that pushed his son, Rick in a wheelchair during dozens of Boston marathons has recently died, according to Fox News.

Hoyt died at the age of 80.

Hoyt drifted off in his sleep Wednesday morning.

“He had an ongoing heart condition that he had been struggling with for years and it just got the better of him,” Russ Hoyt said.

Russ and his other brother, Rob shared the heartbreaking news with Rick.

“He’s sad, as we all are, but he’s OK,” Russ said. “You could see it in him, it was like someone hit him.”

1980 was the first year Dick Hoyt ran a marathon pushing his son, Rick, who is a quadriplegic with cerebral palsy.

In a specialized wheelchair, the duo, Dick and Rick, completed 32 Boston Marathons together.

Dick retired in 2014.

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The Boston Athletic Association, which runs the marathon, called Hoyt a legend.

“The B.A.A. is tremendously saddened to learn of the passing of Boston Marathon icon Dick Hoyt,” the organization said in a statement. “Dick personified what it meant to a be a Boston Marathoner, showing determination, passion, and love every Patriots Day for more than three decades. He was not only a fan favorite who inspired thousands, but also a loyal friend and father who took pride in spending quality time with his son Rick while running from Hopkinton to Boston.”

Even though Dick retired, Rick wasn’t finished.

Rick and Bryan Lyons started racing in 2015 until Lyons’ unexpected death last June at the age of 50.

In 1977 Rick told his father he wanted to participate in a benefit run for a lacrosse player who had been paralyzed.

“Dad, when I’m running, it feels like I’m not disabled,” Rick told his father after that first race.

They participated in more than 1,000 races.

“I know it’s a cliche, but I want people to know that I thought my father was a hero, not just because he pushed Rick in the marathon, but because he was a great father to all of us you could talk to about anything,” he said. “He inspired people to look at all their children as equals no matter their disability.”

A statue was erected of father and son in front of a school in Hopkinton, near the Boston Marathon’s starting line.

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