This weekend I ran the Navy Seal LT Micheal P. Murphy 4 Mile Run Around the Lake. LT Micheal Murphy was from my area of Long Island and we have many memorials, schools, streets, and events dedicated to him. Many of you may be familiar with the ‘Murph’ Crossfit WOD.
Micheal Murphy lost his life in Afghanistan on June 28, 2005 during a mission that went tragically wrong. His team was ambushed and outnumbered. Murphy had no other choice than to expose himself to enemy fire in order to gain a clear signal to call for rescue. He was awarded the Medal of Honor in 2007.
This is the third year this race has been run to benefit numerous foundations including the LT Micheal Murphy Foundation and Lone Survivor Foundation and this year about 2000 people turned out for the event. This is the kind of race where there is no question what you are running for. Flags everywhere. People running with weighted vests. Military shirts. And words to remind you of the sacrifice Murphy made for our country. I happen to also have seen Lone Survivor, and my husband has read Seal of Honor, so we know even more details of the story–there are no words to describe it.
So this is clearly more than just a race. When your legs are tired, or your lungs burn you remember the cause you are running for. There were times during the race when I definitely remembered what Micheal Murphy endured for us and was able to push harder in his honor.
On a personal note, I missed my beloved track workout this week so I was not sure what to expect from the 4 miler. I (yet again) chose to underestimate myself, hoping I would break 32 minutes and believing that breaking 30 was completely unfeasible. The 1st mile of the race is a fast downhill, so I kept a careful balance of taking advantage of it, but not pushing too hard. My 7:10 first mile was perfect since it was faster than I needed my overall pace to be, but I never felt like I actually pushed at all. For miles 2 and 3 I worked to keep my cadence up through flats and small rollers. The last half mile of the race was the same downhill we started with. I was able to put together a great race–faster than I ever thought I would run that day.
I was able to feel proud about coming in first place in my age group–especially in such a big race!
The whole day was really an amazing event, from remembering Michael Murphy to the party that was put on afterward.
I also met the people from Nth Degree and sampled their sport water. The Blueberry Pomegranate was light, but replenishing and not too sweet.
All in all, the day was amazing. June 28, 2005 was a tragic day for LT Michael Murphy and all the soldiers who lost their lives, but the strength emanating from the group of runners Saturday morning was undeniable. There was no better day to succeed and to be proud than on that day.
Are you aware of LT Michael Murphy and Operation Red Wings?
Do amazing causes help you to race harder?
Have you ever tried Nth Degree? I liked it!
Did you race this weekend? How’d it go? I really want to know! 🙂
This post is linked up at Running ‘N’ Reading for the Weekend Update!