By: Zach Beauchaine | Follow Me On Twitter @OtisTheMango
Zdeno Chara was the ultimate warrior from the day he arrived in Boston in 2006. The monster 6 foot 9 defender was the captain of the Bruins from 2006-2019. During his time in Boston, Chara was the definition of professional. He carried himself in a manner that athletes of all types should strive to be.
He was arguably the most physically driven individual in franchise history. A completely unmatched work ethic was the root of victory for the man they call Big Z. The big man helped pave the way to Boston’s 2011 Stanley Cup Championship.
Chara was known for logging heavy minutes on the Bruins back end and dominating the weight room season after season. Chara could do it all, from dropping the gloves with any foe to playing through some grueling injuries, most notably in the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals. Chara played the end of the series with a broken jaw, among other painful injuries.
His warrior spirit was reflected throughout the entirety of his lengthy NHL career. In September of 2022, Zdeno retired from professional hockey at the age of 45 following a one-year stint with the New York Islanders.
It would not take long for the Slovakia native to announce his next challenge after an outstanding NHL career. On March 19th, 2023, Chara took to Instagram to announce he would be running in the 2023 Boston Marathon. His first-ever attempt at running the famous 26-mile race will occur on Monday, April 17th.
The former long-standing Bruins captain will be running in support of the Thomas E.Smith foundation as well as the Hoyt foundation. Chara is accepting donations on behalf of both foundations as they bring community awareness to those living with paralysis and help find a cure for those suffering from any form of paralysis.
Zdeno has never been an individual to back down from any challenge whatsoever. The preparation has begun for Zdeno as he prepares to take on the mighty race head-on. Z’s professional athletic legacy will continue to grow in Boston and beyond for years and years to come. He is committed to the grind. The pride and joy of finishing the Boston Marathon will be yet another feather in Chara’s cap.
The Boston Marathon is a tremendous success each year and is one of New England’s most widely viewed sporting events and averages roughly 500,000 live spectators each year. It would not be surprising to see Boston Bruins fans line the streets to catch a glimpse of Chara and cheer on the big guy as he makes his mark on the city once more.
There is work to be done, but the 46-year-old Chara has never been afraid of challenges as it is part of his competitive nature. Zdeno averages four to six hours of training each day, speaks seven languages, and just got a real estate license! The running of the Marathon will no doubt be another successful accomplishment in the mighty career of Chara.