Bruins legend Zdeno Chara to participate in Boston Marathon

The longtime NHL defenseman will be running his first marathon next month.

Former Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara announced on Sunday that he will be running his very first marathon on April 17 in Boston.

Chara revealed that he will be running on Patriot’s Day in support of The Thomas E. Smith Foundation & The Hoyt Foundation.

The legendary Bruins defenseman is inspired by famous Boston Marathon runner Dick Hoyt, who became an icon of the race for pushing his son in his wheelchair the 26.2 miles on dozens of occasions. Dick Hoyt passed away in September 2021 at age 80.

“What better first marathon than the Boston Marathon on April 17th!” he wrote, sharing an old picture of himself posing on the ice alongside some other Boston legends, Dick Hoyt and his son Rick on Instagram.

Chara further explained how, on top of inspiring millions of people worldwide, the Hoyts personally helped motivate the Bruins to their 2011 Stanley Cup championship.

“Dick and Rick Hoyt made an incredible impact on millions of people worldwide and personally helped to motivate us to our 2011 Stanley Cup Championship,” Chara said in the post. “The Hoyt Foundation has an amazing legacy with this iconic marathon.”

The former blueliner will also be running for The Thomas E. Smith Foundation, calling Thomas Smith “one of the most resilient and inspiring stories.”

“With his passion and dedication, his foundation continuously helps those affected by and living with paralysis,” Chara added.

The Thomas E. Smith Foundation helps those affected by paralysis and spinal cord injuries, and was co-founded by Thomas Smith, a former hockey player who suffers from partial paralysis stemming from three different spinal cord injuries.

Zdeno Chara announced on Monday that he'll be participating in the Boston Marathon next month to raise money for charity. (Getty Images)
Zdeno Chara announced on Monday that he'll be participating in the Boston Marathon next month to raise money for charity. (Getty Images)

In his 14 seasons in Boston, Chara ranked first among the team in games played (1,023), plus-minus rating (+240), penalty minutes (1,055), and time on ice per game (24:29). He finished his career in Boston with 148 goals and 333 assists for 481 points. He ranks sixth in franchise history in games played (1,023), and third in points by a defenseman (481) behind Hall of Famers Ray Bourque (1,506) and Bobby Orr (888).

Chara was awarded the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenseman in 2008-09, after collecting a career-high 19 goals and 31 assists in 80 games with Boston. He was the recipient of the Mark Messier Leadership Award in 2010-11 for his exemplary leadership both on and off the ice, and helped lead the Bruins to a Stanley Cup in 2011.

The 46-year-old retired from the NHL ahead of the 2022-23 campaign after 24 seasons and 1,680 career games, signing a one-day contract with the Bruins in September 2022.

Chara posted a donation link on his Instagram account to help raise funds for the organizations.