One of the Boston Marathon's unique traditions will be on haitus this year: the father and son team of Dick and Rick Hoyt.
Dick, 66, and Rick, 44, have competed as a team at Boston 25 times at since 1981, running every edition of the race since then except for 2003. Father Dick pushes son Rick in a special wheelchair from Hopkinton to Boston because Rick is a quadriplegic with cerebral palsy and cannot run himself. Rick, a graduate of Boston University, is unable to compete this year because he is suffering from cellulitis, a common infection of the skin and the soft tissue immediately beneath it. He is scheduled to have surgery to alleviate the condition, but his post-operative recovery will take up to three weeks, putting him out of this year's race.
Over the years, the Hoyts have become symbols of perseverance. Prior to last year's race, Rick said: "Because we stuck with running and did not ever accept 'No, you can't,' we are now educating the world about people with disabilities, making them more aware of the issues that the disabled face every day."
The Hoyts plan to compete in the 2008 edition of the Boston Marathon, race organizers said.