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‘He’s the one that started it all:’ Flour Bluff man reflects on death of Boston Marathon’s Dick Hoyt

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Posted at 8:48 AM, Mar 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-22 13:09:50-04

Even with the fair distance between him and the east coast — Chris Kemp knows that the Boston Marathon lost an icon earlier this week.

Dick Hoyt was a marathoner who gained national attention in the late ‘70s for pushing his quadriplegic son who had Cerebral palsy or CP. Dick and his son Rick would soon be regarded as “Team Hoyt.”

Those wheelchair-led 5K runs would continue all the way to the Boston Marathon 2014. The duo continued to do shorter-distanced races afterwards.

On Wednesday, March 17, Dick Hoyt died at the age of 80.

Back in the the Coastal Bend, that death, leaves an impact for 32-year-old Chris Kemp, who also has CP.

“I’ve been following him for years,” Kemp said, recalling that he would watch Hoyt and his son run well before he graduated from Flour Bluff High School in 2006.

Kemp said he remembers often looking up to what Hoyt had done with his son, and how it resonated with him.

“He was an inspiration to every differently-abled person,” Kemp said in a text message. “I always hoped to get to meet him. I followed his adventures for years — I was sad to hear of his passing.”

Similarly, Kemp works to compete in races too. Most recently, he took part in the Spartan Race at Jacksonville, FL in February.

His Facebook page “Team Chris” documents the many times where he is out competing or training with several race partners. It also acts as a merchandise fundraiser for him to continue going on races in the future.

Although Chris wasn’t able to meet Hoyt, he said its still his dream to one day qualify for the Boston Marathon.