Everyone knows "Big Z" always loved a big challenge.
The latest accomplishment for former New York Islanders defenseman and Stanley Cup-winning Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara was running the New York City Marathon, which he did on Sunday in an impressive 3:19:19, which was a per-mile pace of seven minutes and 37 seconds.
Perhaps by coincidence, or perhaps not, Chara was wearing blue, orange, and white as the towering 6'9'' future hockey hall-of-fame ran by and waved to onlookers, including one wearing an Islanders sweater and a sign that said "Go Big Z" in a video shared by the team on its social media.
The 46-year-old took on the five-borough NYC Marathon and beat the 26.2-mile time he ran after finishing the Boston Marathon in 3:38:23 back in April. In typical Chara fashion, he has no plans to stop there as the 24-year NHL veteran has his tall sights set on participating in all the major marathons around the world. This would include trips to Chicago, Tokyo, London, and perhaps others.
After setting the record for most games played by a defenseman with 1,680 in his final NHL season back in 2021-22 with the Islanders, Chara chose to pick up a new challenge rather than take a break.
“Sometimes you get into different mindsets, and you learn about yourself a lot through these challenges, through these good runs, bad runs," Chara told the NY Post back in April as to why he continues to push his own limits.
"It’s just, I don’t know how to really explain it, but it’s something that it’s teaching you something about yourself. And it’s a very humbling experience.”