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LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) — A 5K race was held to honor the life of the late Dick Hoyt, a Boston Marathon icon and Holland resident who pushed his disabled son in hundreds of races.

“That ‘yes you can!’ It just means you do whatever you want regardless of what challenges are in front of you. You don’t shy away from the challenge, you take them on and move forward,” Russ Hoyt, Dick Hoyt’s son told 22News.

Friends, supporters, and family gathered here in Longmeadow for a 5K to honor the life of Dick Hoyt, a local legend, runner, and beloved father. The Holland resident died at the age of 80 earlier this year. Loved ones say he led a life dedicated to his family and was an example of great determination.

“He was the just the type of guy that was always willing to give you something to push you to the next level you need to get to. It’s actually a whole family effort. So my mother, my father, and Rick is the one that inspires all of us,” Russ said.

Hoyt and his son Rick had been a fixture of the Boston Marathon since 1981, when Hoyt first pushed his quadriplegic son with cerebral palsy, in the race for the first time. Together Team Hoyt has run over 1000 races. The duo inspired athletes with disabilities across the nation.

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Dick Hoyt, local legend, honored at Longmeadow 5K
Tyngsboro mom and daughter pushing to make Boston Marathon history

TYNGSBORO — Barbara Singleton always pushed her daughter to shine in academics and athletics.

The way Beth Craig sees it, now she’s just returning the favor.

On Oct. 11, the duo will make Boston Marathon history if Craig is able to push a custom-built running chair carrying her 100-pound mother the 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to the finish line in Boston.

“This is my mom’s big day,” the 53-year-old Craig said. “I’m just the legs in the back. She’s the hero. I don’t mind being uncomfortable for a couple of hours in order to have my mom as happy as a clam.”

No daughter has ever pushed her mother to the finish line in the event’s illustrious history.

“It’s pretty cool,” the Tyngsboro Middle School special education teacher said. “It’s so great for my mom.”

“I’m excited. Beyond talking. I still can’t believe it,” Singleton said of being on the verge of making history.

Singleton began to cry when asked if she’s proud of her daughter.

“I’m proud,” she said. “She does everything for me.”

Singleton was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a disease that affects the central nervous system, 38 years ago. Singleton, now 77, was forced into a wheelchair about a year after her diagnosis.

“She’s been through so much,” Craig said, “but she perseveres. She has a smile on her face every day.”

Not surprisingly, Craig was inspired to push her mother in races by Dick and Rick Hoyt, the famed Massachusetts father and son duo who completed 32 Boston Marathons together and more than 1,000 total races.

CONTINUED AT LOWELL SUN