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Chaffee residents and guests are being invited to join Poncha Springs Anytime Fitness in honoring Memorial Day with the Murph Challenge, in honor of the sacrifice of Lt. Michael P. Murphy (SEAL) who was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. The challenge will start at 9:00 a.m. on May 31 at Anytime Fitness on U.S. 50 in Poncha Springs.

This challenge is traditionally done in a weighted vest within 60 minutes, but staff say they will offer options to make this scalable and suitable for all fitness levels. The challenge is officially open to members and non-members of Anytime Fitness and costs 15 dollars to participate. All the proceeds will be donated to a local veterans foundation. Weather permitting, the running portion of the challenge will be done outside. The challenge consists of:

  • one mile run
  • 100 push-ups
  • 200 push-ups
  • 300 squats
  • One mile run

Anytime Fitness located in Poncha Springs Photo Courtesy of the Sachtleben’s.

According to The Murph Challenge website, Lt. Michael P. Murphy (SEAL) was the officer-in-charge of a four-man SEAL element in support of Operation Red Wings, tasked with finding a key anti-coalition militia commander near Asadabad, Afghanistan, following 9-11.

Shortly after inserting into the objective area, the SEALs were spotted by three goat herders who were initially detained and then released. It is believed the goat herders immediately reported the SEALs’ presence to Taliban fighters. Things did not end well.

A gun battle ensued on the steep face of the mountain between the SEALs and a much larger enemy force. Despite the intensity of the firefight and suffering grave gunshot wounds himself, Murphy is credited with risking his own life to save the lives of his teammates.

Murphy, intent on making contact with headquarters, but realizing this would be impossible in the extreme terrain where they were fighting, unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his own life moved into the open, where he could gain a better position to transmit a call to get help for his men.

Moving away from the protective mountain rocks, he knowingly exposed himself to increased enemy gunfire. This deliberate and heroic act deprived him of cover and made him a target for the enemy. While continuing to be fired upon, Murphy made contact with the SOF Quick Reaction Force at Bagram Air Base and requested assistance. He provided his unit’s location and the size of the enemy force while requesting immediate support for his team.

At one point, he was shot in the back causing him to drop the transmitter. Murphy picked it back up, completed the call and continued firing at the enemy who was closing in. Severely wounded, Lt. Murphy returned to his cover position with his men and continued the battle.

Murphy fought on, allowing one member of his team, Marcus Luttrell, to escape, before he was killed. For his selfless actions, Lt. Michael Murphy was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor on October 27, 2007. His sacrifice and memory is honored through The Murph Challenge.

To participate, register by May 28 by calling 719-626-2121 or emailing to