BOSTON (CBS) — For the first time in Boston Marathon history, someone else pushed Rick Hoyt across the finish line.
Dick Hoyt and his son Rick have been a fixture of the marathon for three decades. Rick was born a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy, and Dick has pushed him in 32 Boston Marathons and many other races since 1977.
With the 74-year-old Dick retiring from marathons this year, Bryan Lyons of Methuen took over the job of pushing Rick. He’s been a member of Team Hoyt since 2009, joining as he continued his recovery from being injured by a drunk driver in 2001.
“Today is evidence that Boston is stronger than ever,” Lyons told WBZ-TV. “We didn’t notice any rain, what I noticed was half a million people cheering for him.”
Dick served as grand marshal of the marathon and got a ride to the finish line, something that felt strange to him.
“I’d rather be out there running than sitting in that vehicle,” he said.
Three-time Boston Marathon champ Uta Pippig awarded Rick and Lyons medals after they finished.
“I’m so excited, I love those guys,” she said. “They stand for everything that’s good in the world.”
Lyons said that despite the tough conditions, he was actually jealous of spectators who got to see Rick’s wide grin as they ran.
“If he’s smiling when we cross that finish line, then nothing else matters,” he said.