TODAY

TODAY   |  April 15, 2014

Team Hoyt to run last Boston Marathon

In spite of the senseless tragedy, or perhaps because of it, the Boston community has rallied together, and when it comes to relentless determination, it doesn’t get much strong than Dick and Rick Hoyt. The father and son duo have run the marathon almost every year since 1981. TODAY’s Natalie Morales reports.

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>>> as we mentioned, today marx one year since the boston marathon bombings. a time of terror that's highlighted the resolve of one of america's proudest cities. natalie 's with us from boston once again. natalie , good morning.

>> good morning to you, carson. what happened here in boston one year ago was one of the scariest acts of terror in our nation's recent history. but in spite of the senseless tragedy, or what happens because of it, this community has rallied together in unimaginable ways.

>> so are you ready? feeling good?

>> yeah.

>> when it comes to relentless determination, it doesn't get much stronger than dick and rick hoyt .

>> he said, dad, if it comes down to one race a year, i want it to be the boston marathon .

>> the father and son duo have been running the boston marathon almost every year since 1981 . raising money for charity and becoming local legends. dick, who's now 74, has pushed his son rick, who has cerebral palsy across the finish line some 30 times.

>> i feel very proud.

>> you get two pushes, rick.

>> and next week, team hoyt will complete what they couldn't last year, crossing the finish line together for the very last time.

>> why did you want to give it one more try?

>> well, as soon as the bombing happened, i just said we've got to do it one more time for these people.

>> 2013 was meant to be dick's final race. but just a mile from the end, they were stopped in their tracks by the unthinkable. three spectators were killed by the explosions, more than 260 wounded. 16 victims lost limbs. and heroes kicked into action. for the survivors, every day since then has been a post-marathon day. still processing what happened and learning to live a new normal. celeste corcoran lost both legs and her daughter sydney was critically injured.

>> eventually, you know, you come out on the other side and life goes on.

>> that's new beginning for jeff bauman, who lost both legs, too. he's now looking forward to a wedding and a baby on the way. and he hopes to use his experience to help craft better prosthetics for future patients.

>> i hope to keep the ball rolling with the prosthetics. you know, keep pumping out new technology.

>> the norden brothers, j.p. and paul, both lost a leg. but nothing can stop these guys.

>> hopefully i get to play basketball in august. that's my goal.

>> every day for us has gotten better and better.

>> they're filled with immense strength and enduring gratitude.

>> we really do feel, you know, thankful and grateful.

>> as boston gears up for next week's marathon, security will be even more intense and police presence higher than ever. but spirits are soaring, too, and runners like april farham will send a message.

>> there's no way that you can deter us from doing what we want to do.

>> as for the hoyts, it has been a monumental three-decade run. but the most important finish li line of all is the one they'll cross next week. you know a lot about overcoming adversity and challenges in life. for all of the survivors who have been going through the past year, what words of advice can you give them?

>> you know, our advice is yes, you can. there isn't anything you can't do as long as you make up your mind to do it. and i know that these people will not give in to anything.

>> great advice from the legends of the boston marathon . now, this, of course, is a community filled with survivors and heros who have taught us all what it means to be boston strong. meanwhile, organizers are hoping to put this tragic event behind them, and they're hoping to get the marathon back to what it was, celebrating once again one of the country's and one of the world's most elite road racing events. savannah and carson, back to you guys.

>> all right, natalie , thanks very much.

>> natalie 's going to be running in it too on monday.