The story of Dick and Rick Hoyt has captured people’s hearts across the world.
Rick, who has cerebral palsy, can’t speak and is wheelchair-bound. He suggested to his dad in 1977 that they run a race together. Dick pushed his son in a modified wheelchair for that first race — a 5-miler to benefit a local lacrosse player who been paralyzed in an accident. Since then, they’ve competed in more than 1,000 endurance events, including several Ironman triathlons.
The pair eventually founded Team Hoyt New England, an outreach program to encourage other athletes to join forces who people that cannot race on their own.
Enter Nick Draper and Ted Painter.
Painter, 42, is a marathon runner and former Army Ranger from Massachusetts. Draper, 24, lives in a group home and is wheelchair-bound. After both men expressed an interest to join Team Hoyt New England, they completed their first race together — a 5-miler with Painter pushing Draper — earlier this year.
Their team is called “In the Nick of Time,” and they hope to qualify for the Boston Marathon next year. They will attempt to eclipse the qualifying time at a race on Cape Cod in February.
“Even on my training runs, I can’t run with excuses if I feel off,” Painter told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. “Because he wants to win.”
Said Draper, “He’s damn fast.”
For more: Worcester Telegram & Gazette