Work on Hoyt statue begins in downtown Hopkinton

HOPKINTON —The world-famous father-son marathon duo only cross the Boston Marathon starting line once a year but a life-size bronze statue of Dick and Rick Hoyt slated for the front of Center School will make the pair a permanent downtown fixture.

Construction is set to continue Friday outside Center School, where Texas artist Mike Tabor this spring is scheduled to place his statue. The John Hancock company commissioned the work last year and hopes it will be ready in time for the April Marathon.

Tabor’s statue will depict father Dick Hoyt pushing his son Rick, who has cerebral palsy, in a wheelchair. Last year was the 30th time the pair has completed the Hopkinton-to-Boston course.

Dick, now 72, first pushed Rick in the Boston Marathon in 1981. They plan to run again this year. The pair since 1977 have completed more than 1,000 races together, including six Ironmans, according to the Team Hoyt website.

The pair now has a non-profit organization and a marathon team.

The John Hancock company decided in late 2011 to commission the statue, the price of which the company won’t say.

Tim Kilduff, founder of the 26.2 Foundation in Hopkinton, said he helped convince John Hancock officials to place the statue in Hopkinton when they were searching for a location anywhere along the route.

The Historic District Commission, which oversees projects in downtown where the school is located, first had questions about the statue but in mid-December approved it.

“The sculpture will be placed literally in line with the starting line, and facing the starting line,” he said.

Wheelchair runners prepare themselves for the race behind the school, making it an even more appropriate location, said School Committee member Jean Bertschmann.

“The Hoyts are such a remarkable story and we’re just so fortunate to be a part of that,” she said.

John Hancock officials said they hope to have the statue complete by late March in order to unveil it the week before the 2013 Boston Marathon.

(Laura Krantz can be reached at 508-626-4429 or