BOSTON (CBS) – Rick Hoyt wasn’t able to cross the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday. But he was certainly there in spirit.

Dick and Rick Hoyt have been a fixture of the Boston Marathon since 1981, when Dick first pushed his son, born a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy, in the race for the first time. Bryan Lyons joined Team Hoyt and has pushed Rick since 2015.

This year, Rick was unable to participate due to health issues. But Lyons ran the race on his own.

Bryan Lyons from Team Hoyt receives his Boston Marathon medal. (WBZ-TV)

Three-time Boston Marathon champion Uta Pippig presented Lyons with his finisher’s medal. But Lyons said he won’t be holding onto it for long.

“I’m going to clean up, then I’m going to head out and visit Rick because this medal is actually his. It doesn’t belong to me,” Lyons said.

Lyons added that it was an emotional race without Rick.

“I missed him out there. But I ran with him in my heart every step of the way. The crowds and fans just got me through it,” he said.

Team Hoyt is hopeful that Rick will return to the race next year.

“As our good friend (Race Director) Dave McGillvray says, ‘The comeback is stronger than the setback,’” Lyons said.

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