TOWN OF BUCHANAN - What do you get when you combine a one mile sprint, 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, 300 air squats and another one mile run? Oh, and if you have a 20-pound weight vest – throw that in too.
Well, you'd have a 'Murph.'
"'Murph' is in honor of Mike Murphy, a Medal of Honor recipient," said Josh Hass, owner of Vanguard Crossfit in the Town of Buchanan. "This is a workout that he did once a week on Wednesdays – and he did that whole workout wearing body armor."
Deployed to Afghanistan in 2005, Lieutenant Michael Murphy's unit was under heavy fire. The Navy SEAL was in the process of calling in air support, drawing away enemy fire when he was killed. Murphy was was the first Navy SEAL since the Vietnam War to receive the Medal of Honor.
In his memory, CrossFit gyms across the nation hold 'Memorial Day Murphs.'" Open to the public, the events are to raise money for three foundations his legacy supports.
Hass, a former Airborne Ranger and Iraq-war veteran, says the tougher-than-usual CrossFit workout (which some might say is relative) is a reminder of the hard work it takes to be a man – or woman – in uniform.
For Hass' cousin Klay Konrad, his 'Murph' has a deeper meaning. His close friend, Spc. Christopher Gathercole was killed on May 26th, five years ago.
"One of my closest friends in Ranger battalion," said Konrad, who wore a 20-pound vest during his ‘Murph' heat. "Went to basic training, Airborne (school), Ranger indoctrination program together. Then we ended up in the same squad."
Gathercole was killed in the same firefight in Afghanistan, in which Staff Sergeant Leroy Petry saved other unit members. Petry was awarded the Medal of Honor in 2011.
With Konrad's six-year-old son Kael and family looking on, the now-Army reservist pushed, pulled and ran his way toward the finish; doing so with a weight heavier than just the 20-pound vest on his chest.
"You know, the little bit of the struggle we have with the workout is a small price to pay for the ultimate sacrifice that people did pay."
Like that of Murphy – and his Wednesday workout.
The event in the Buchanan CrossFit gym raised about two-thousand dollars; it was its first year holding the event.
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