Challenges can’t stop Chloupek

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Larry Chloupek, ’79 alumnus, recently ran in the Boston Marathon with a time of five hours and 20 minutes.

By Hannah Yasharoff, Public Relations Manager

The greatest sports stories are the ones that inspire others and prove that through hard work and determination, anything is possible. The story of Larry Chloupek is no exception.

Chloupek, a 1979 CHS alumnus, recently completed the Boston Marathon with one leg, on crutches. Yes, you read that right, on crutches.

“It was one of the best experiences of my life,” Chloupek said. “The crowds were so vocal and supportive. They pushed me until the end.”

Chloupek, who lost his left leg to bone cancer at age 7, urges teens to continue participating in sports, despite any obstacles that may arise.

“In many sports, there is a modification that would allow you to continue to play the sport that you enjoy,” Chloupek said. “Never give up.”

True to his word, Chloupek has been involved in sports throughout his entire lifetime. In high school, he was manager for the football, basketball and baseball teams. He also coached CHS baseball for 15 years. Now, Chloupek plays soccer and lifts weights, in addition to running.

“I got involved in running as another form of getting my cardio in,” Chloupek said. “I have been running close to 20 years, primarily completing 5k and 10k races.”

Chloupek, who ran the Boston Marathon with his wife, Jenn Elswick Chloupek, also runs some of these races with his stepson, junior Colton Neubauer.

“For my first 5k, my step-dad beat me by a lot,” Neubauer said. “This motivated me to get fit, and I ended up dropping my time by nine minutes.”

Chloupek has also run several half marathons in the past few years and ran the D.C. Rock and Roll Marathon last spring, which was his Boston Marathon qualifying race.

According to the Boston Marathon website, the qualifying time for the mobility-impaired portion of the race is eight hours, but Chloupek completed the D.C. Marathon in just five hours and 37 minutes. He then went on to complete the Boston Marathon in five hours and 20 minutes.

Chloupek’s decision to run the Boston Marathon was based partially on last year’s bombing.

“I wanted to show the new amputees that life does not stop once you have a disability,” Chloupek said.

In addition to the bombing victims, Chloupek has also inspired Neubauer.

“Larry has proven that with hard work and perseverance, any goal is achievable,” Neubauer said. “He never makes excuses for anything, so why should we?”