26, 26.2, 67, 4, 6, 7!

What’s the significance of these numbers?

Hang tight and I’ll reveal it in a moment.

The 112th Boston Marathon occurred last Monday without a whole lot of TV coverage in this part of the world. I didn’t see any of it on ESPN and I missed the local news. But from what I could make out on the web, the women’s race looked very exciting. Anytime you have a 26-mile foot race and the time that separates the first runner and the second runner is 2 seconds, well, that’s a razor thin finish, making it an exciting event.

On the home page of the BAA site, the organization that puts on the Boston Marathon, there’s a flash header with shots from the marathon to keep visitors entertained while looking for race information. While I was there reviewing the results, I saw a picture of Dick Hoyt, still running strong after all these years. Dick clocks in at 67 years of age this year according to the stats on the BAA site and he still runs a mean marathon.

I was first introduced to Dick Hoyt back in 1989 when I ran my first “Boston”. Somewhere in the middle of that race, I saw him fly by me with an easy, strong stride. I asked one of the runners next to me, “Who is that guy?” His response, “That’s Dick Hoyt. He has been on the New England running circuit for a while. He competes regularly in the Boston Marathon.“

From that point on I could not get the guy out of my sight. Whenever I ran a race in the New England area, be it a 5k, 10K 10 miler or Marathon, somewhere along the course I was either passing or passed by Dick Hoyt.

Dick became an inspiration and a driving force for me while I competed in New England. I was in awe of this guy’s stamina and endurance. I’m sure other runners share this same sentiment about this New England icon.

Why is this guy so remarkable, you may ask?

Because Dick always runs with his son, Rick.

Rick is also a quadriplegic and cannot run a race under his own power. So, Dick has chosen to unselfishly share the gift of running with his son by pushing him in a wheelchair, and has done so for over 30 years now.

I call it a gift. If you have not experienced the pure joy, freedom, and exhilaration that come with running a road race, then you need to lace up your shoes and hit the road. There’s no feeling like it. It’s truly a gift.

This dynamic duo continues to race throughout the world and regularly throughout the New England states.

This year, 2008, Dick and Rick Hoyt completed their 26th Boston Marathon, which is 26.2 miles, with Dick at the age of 67 in 4 hours 6 minutes and 7 seconds.

26th Boston Marathon
26.2 miles
67 years young
4 hours
6 minutes
7 seconds

26, 26.2, 67, 4, 7, 6

Many people think that the Dale Carnegie Course is all about public speaking.

In truth, Carnegie promoted living life to its fullest. He was an advocate of enriching human life by encouraging people to overcome their limiting fears, trying different activities, gaining new experiences and sharing those experiences with the people that matter in their lives. These are the truly inspirational people: The people that choose life over limitations.

I’ve run over 40 marathons and I am looking to add another notch in my belt on May 18. But my accomplishments pale when compared to the Hoyt’s list of achievements. Dick and Rick Hoyt remain an inspiration to me as well as numerous other runners worldwide because they choose to live life over accepting limitations.

What kind of experiences will you share with the people you love when you are 67 years young?