BOSTON (CBS) — Dr. Bryan Lyons, who has had the honor of pushing Rick Hoyt in the Boston Marathon since 2015, died suddenly in his sleep over the weekend.
Dick Hoyt, whom Lyons took over for in the 26.2 mile race, shared the news on his Facebook page Tuesday morning.
“Received some horrible news yesterday that Bryan Lyons passed away in his sleep – taken from his friends and family too soon,” Hoyt wrote. “We have tons of pictures and memories of great times together over so many years. Rick is going to be devastated when he hears the news. Bryan gave so much support to Rick Hoyt and myself, Team Hoyt New England, and the Hoyt Foundation Boston Marathon charity team. My sympathy to his parents John & Patty Yamello Lyons , his sister Beth, and his brothers John Lyons and Mark Lyons – Rest in Peace Bryan.”
Lyons ran the Boston Marathon as a member of Team Hoyt from 2009 to 2014, but took over for the elder Hoyt in 2015 when Dick stepped down at the age of 73.
Lyons finished the 2019 Boston Marathon without Rick, who missed the race due to health issues, but gave him his medal after completing the race.
“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 told WBZ-TV’s Steve Burton. “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.”
The Hoyts have been a fixture of the Boston Marathon since 1981 when Dick first pushed his son, who was born a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy, the 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boston.
Lyons, who would have turned 51 in August, was a dentist in Billerica. In addition to his many Boston Marathon finishes, he was also an accomplished triathlete, which he took up in 2006 as a way to recover from injuries he sustained after being hit by a drunk driver in 2001.