There are few places more special to runners than the starting area of the Boston Marathon.
For those that have run the race in the past, the unassuming high shoal grounds that hosts thousands of marathoners on Patriot’s Day morning are a surreal space. Little of the surroundings on the Center School property suggest that this is a Mecca for the sport of running.
When runners arrive by bus to Center School this April for the 117th running of the marathon, they will notice something new greeting them. Lead sponsor John Hancock has commissioned a sculpture of father and son marathoning duo Rick and Dick Hoyt to be placed at the entrance of the school.
The Hoyts will be on hand this spring to run their 31st Boston together. They first gained attention back in 1981, when father Dick pushed Rick, who has cerebral palsy, the 42.2K from Hopinkton to downtown Boston.
The father-son team have since become internationally celebrated as important figures in the movement to make sports more inclusive. They are also highly inspirational in that they have completed some 1,000 races, including six Ironmans.
John Hancock commissioned Texas based artist Mike Tabor last year to have the statue ready for this year’s race. The sculpture will included both Dick and Rick.
“The sculpture will be placed literally in line with the starting line, and facing the starting line,” Tim Kilduff of the 26.2 Foundation told the MetroWest Daily News. Kilduff helped convince John Hancock that the start line in Hopinkton was the ideal place for the statue.