It was a beautiful sunny day in Hopkinton for the first annual Dick Hoyt Memorial “Yes You Can” 5-Mile Road Race. More than 700 runners, walkers and duos showed up to participate, many traveling hundreds of miles to join.
In a fateful twist, race director Rick Hoyt died just 5 days prior. In his opening speech to the racers, brother Russ Hoyt said the family deliberated at length on whether to continue, but they heard their father Dick and Rick saying the three words that made them famous: “Yes You Can”.
There was an outpouring of support for Russ and Rob Hoyt, with many friends and racers offering smiles and tearful hugs.
Assistant race Director Dave McGillivray – race director of the Boston Marathon – took the reins in Rick’s honor and stirred the crowd with a moving speech about Rick’s life and his incredible attention to detail.
“Just last week Rick was asking me if we’d ensured that the houses on the course had been briefed on the race day plans. He cared deeply about the residents of Hopkinton,” said McGillivray.
26.2 Foundation President, and former race director of the Boston Marathon, Tim Kilduff led the start. Boston Athletic Association President and CEO Jack Fleming was also on hand for the festivities.
“It is inspiring to see how the town of Hopkinton has embraced Team Hoyt and the entire Hoyt family over the decades,” said Fleming. “There is no better place to celebrate the lives of Dick and Rick. You can really feel their spirit here today.”
Further reading on the Hoyt’s: