BOSTON (Reuters) - A 73-year-old man who has run the Boston Marathon pushing his wheelchair-bound son for the past 31 years plans to make this year’s edition of the event his last.
Dick Hoyt, whose 52-year-old son Rick suffers from cerebral palsy, had planned to make the 2013 race his last but decided to run one more time after the duo was stopped along with thousands of other athletes at the 25-mile marker because of the twin pressure-cooker bombs that killed three people and injured 264.
“This is going to be our 32nd Boston Marathon,” the elder Hoyt told WBZ-TV in Boston. “We will be out there, we will get across it this year, and it’s going to be very emotional.”
The pair are a crowd favorite and before last year’s race organizers unveiled a statue of the two near the race’s starting line in Hopkinton, Massachusetts.
Hoyt said he would continue to compete with his son in events shorter than the 26.2-mile marathon and that other members of their “Team Hoyt” charitable organization would continue to push Rick in future Boston Marathons.
Hoyt and his son live in Holland, Massachusetts, 64 miles west of Boston.
U.S. prosecutors contend that brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev placed and detonated the homemade explosive devices at the finish line of last year’s race. Tamerlan, 26, died four days after the April 15 race in a gunfight with police while trying to flee the city. Dzhokhar, now 20, was later arrested and is awaiting trial in a prison west of Boston.
The surviving Tsarnaev faces the possibility of the death penalty if he is convicted in a trial due to begin in November.
Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Jonathan Oatis