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Hoyts to push forward

By Globe Staff, 04/17/99

he Boston Marathon personifies and rewards hard work and perseverance. And for the 19th consecutive year, Dick Hoyt and his son, Rick, epitomize the kind of dedication needed for the race.

Starting in 1980, Dick began competing in marathons while pushing his son, who uses a wheelchair. For 26.2 miles, they are crowd favorites.

Building on the positive publicity they have garnered over their many Boston appearances, the Hoyts, behind the sponsorship of Fleet Financial Group, work throughout the year to promote programs enhancing the lives and mobility of disabled people.

Breakfast of champs

The Boston Athletic Association's Champions breakfast will take place at the Fairmont Copley Plaza this morning at 10:45. The top seeds and defending Wheelchair Division champions will receive their bib numbers ... The traditional prerace pasta party will take place tomorrow 5-9 p.m. at Faneuil Hall ... The race will be without the ageless Johnny Kelley, who is recuperating from pneumonia at a nursing home in Harwich. He's 91 and has been a vibrant part of the Marathon for more than 70 years. Amby Burfoot, the 1968 Boston winner and editor of Runner's World, is accepting ''Get Well Soon'' messages urging Kelley's return next year. E-mail your message to or fax it to 610-967-8883... Mary Lynn Currier, the first American woman to finish last year's race, will not run. Currier, 34, who easily qualified for next year's Olympic Trials with her 2:35:17 last April, gave birth to a baby boy last month in Hartford ... The bottom line, according to Larry Meehan of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, is that the marathon will have an economic impact of more than $67.3 million for the Boston area, as runners pour in from all 50 states and from 51 countries ... Easily overlooked amidst the race hoopla is the amazing volunteer staff. For 24 years, the American Red Cross Massachusetts Bay has supported the race, providing a safe environment for an event that on average accumulates approximately 12,000 registered runners and nearly 1 million spectators each year. In 1998, the Red Cross aided more than 6,000 people in a number of ways, ranging from ambulance calls to bus transportation.

Compiled by Joe Concannon and Barbara Huebner of the Globe Staff and correspondent Anthony P. Di Fonzo.

This story ran on page G02 of the Boston Globe on 04/17/99.
© Copyright 1999 Globe Newspaper Company.

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