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Veterans, area residents team up for Memorial Day workout honoring a local hero



MURPH
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Some four dozen athletes, including six veterans, ran, squatted, pushed- and pulled-up, and ran again in honor of Memorial Day this year. They took part in a "Murph," a particularly strenuous workout routine named for a famous Medal of Honor recipient. (Photo by Justin Roshak) (click for larger version)
June 06, 2018
LISBON—Some four dozen athletes, including six veterans, ran, squatted, pushed- and pulled-up, and ran again in honor of Memorial Day this year. They took part in a "Murph," a particularly strenuous workout routine named for a famous Medal of Honor recipient.

Lt. Michael P. Murphy was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on June 28, 2005, in Afghanistan. During a scouting mission behind enemy lines, his four-man team was spotted, outnumbered, and nearly surrounded. Murphy endangered himself, and was wounded, to contact rescue. He, and two of his teammates, were ultimately killed in action over the course of a two-hour running firefight, as were 16 of the initial rescue operation. One member of his team ultimately survived, hidden by sympathetic locals, and extracted some days later.

The workout named in Murphy's honor mirrors the running battle and grueling ordeal suffered by him and his team. It begins with a mile run, followed by 300 air squats, 200 push ups, and 100 pull ups, ad ends with another mile run. The genuine "Murph" includes a 20-pound weighted vest, and is considered a "hero" workout by fitness aficionados—daunting, grueling, and difficult to complete, even for seasoned athletes.

Some participants did a "half Murph," where the quality and length of each element was reduced by fifty percent. Nonetheless, about three fourths completed the full experience.

The event benefited the Pittsburg nonprofit Warriors at 45 North, which offers past and present service members all-season recreation opportunities, such as fishing, kayaking, hunting, and machine riding. About $500 was raised.

Crossfit is defined by a full-body workout which touches on all aspects of fitness: strength, endurance, mobility, stability, and so on. A good crossfit experience will expose weaknesses, and demands a well-rounded quality from its aspirants, Golden explained. He coaches Crossfit at Evergreen Gym, along with owners and coaches Jay and Nancy Soucy.

Such an intense crossfit event is as much a mental as physical struggle, said local Crossfiter Matt Golden, who completed the full Murph in about 45 minutes, the second-fastest time that day. He stressed that the workout, though intense and forbidden, requires no special equipment or advanced techniques, which makes it accessible to all.

Golden, who is young and just about bulges with muscle, said he took a few days to recover from the event. Nevertheless, he pointed out that it was less difficult then what many members of the armed forces experience in the field.

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