Friday, January 15, 2010

Things Go Goofy For Team Hoyt at Disney Half-Marathon

By Kathy Boyer

The famed father/son marathon team known as Team Hoyt flew down to Orlando, FL during the weekend of January 7-10 for Disney Marathon weekend.

On Friday, Dick and Rick Hoyt spoke to a standing room only crowd, inspiring them with their story, while bringing tears to the eyes of many. They had some A/V problems, so were unable to show their powerful DVDs.

The crowd was unaware that they had any technical problems, however, and were caught up in their own flow of emotions as they listened to Rick tell his story through his voice activated computer followed by Dick's PowerPoint presentation depicting their 30 plus years of running and triathlon history.

After the event, many came back to the Expo area, where Dick and Rick did a meet and greet at the Spira Sneaker booth. After two hours of non-stop hand shaking and picture taking, the volunteers had to cut the line off, as Dick and Rick were late leaving to meet with their sponsors for dinner.

We got back to our hotel rooms at 10:00 p.m. and had our wake-up call set for 2:30 a.m. The guys were taking part in the Disney Half-marathon and we had to get driven to the start at 4:00 a.m., before they closed the roads to traffic.

Rick had to stay in the van for a while when we arrived at the start line as it was only about 20 degrees, very windy, and was sleeting! Yes, in Florida.

We had a new running chair for this event, as Rick has been having trouble with his back twisting and could not sit comfortably in his old chair. Also, with all the cake and ice cream he has been eating lately (Rick turned 48 on January 10), his weight has gone from 115 lbs to 148 lbs. He was getting a bit too big for the seat especially when he had to wear extra layers of clothes to keep himself warm in the cold weather races.

They were promised their new running chair in mid-December, so that they could use it in practice runs and a few races before we left for Orlando. As is usually the case with Team Hoyt, we ended up getting the chair the night before we left for Florida - so there was no time for training with it.

The race started at 5:40 a.m. as Dick and Rick took off with the other runners and looked great. Since there were over 17,000 runners competing, we stayed and watched the rest of the runners take off.

A short time later, we spotted Dick and Rick heading back to the start line. We thought one of them had gotten hurt. Much to our relief they were okay.

It turned out the front wheel of the running chair started giving them problems after the first mile and Dick almost fell over the handlebars. He tried to fix it, but it was quite wobbly. He tried to run a few more times, but he could not control the front wheel at all. So they had to walk back to the start and not complete the race.

Sometimes, even with Team Hoyt, things are simply out of your control and it's best to pack it in and call it a day.

Kathy Boyer is the office manager, publicist and friend of Team Hoyt. She will share the stories of Team Hoyt here on Bleacher Report from time to time. For more information on Team Hoyt, visit

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