More than 75 people spent part of their Memorial Day holiday Monday exercising for a good cause at CrossFit ThunderHawks in Rio Rancho.
Memorial Day is an important day in the CrossFit community with the “Murph Challenge” fundraiser taking place nationwide to benefit the Lt. Michael P. Murphy Memorial Scholarship Foundation.
Murphy, a Navy SEAL officer who was awarded the Medal of Honor, was killed in the action during the war in Afghanistan in 2005. The scholarship foundation was started in 2007 by Michael’s parents, Dan and Maureen, and Michael’s brother John. Michael was an avid reader and felt that education was key.
CrossFit ThunderHawks were one of many taking part in the Murph Challenge.
“The event is almost a CrossFit rite of passage for the members. It is celebrated on Memorial Day in every CrossFit Box in the U.S.,” ThunderHawks co-owner Anti Nelly Soto-Hernandez said. “Murph came up with the workout and used to do it with his military brothers. All CrossFitters that participate do it to honor and remember those that have given their lives for us.”
The workout consists of a one-mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats and another one-mile run. All are done while wearing a 20-pound vest. Soto-Hernandez said the workouts were altered so more people could be included in the event.
“We have make this a a broad event for people to come together; we have to come up with different ways to get those reps,” Soto-Hernandez said. “So it’s a scale-able to any level. So we have kids’ workouts, preteens workouts, anybody can do it.”
Soto-Hernandez, who owns CrossFit ThunderHawks with her husband Javier Hernandez, looked on with pride at the dozens of people working out in the facility and having a good time in the parking lot, which featured corn hole, music and, of course, a cookout.
“This year our event was the biggest we have ever had with an attendance of 75 athletes from our 6-year-old athletes to the 60-plus,” Soto-Hernandez said. “It’s probably the largest of all CrossFit boxes in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho. We had the Amazon Warriors Organization, who is an organization that supports veterans and their families. We are very proud of this tradition and how our CrossFit ThunderHawks community comes out to honor and support.”
While the event was free, competitors purchased “Murph Challenge” shirts with all proceeds going to the Murphy Scholarship Foundation. CrossFit ThunderHawks raised $500 on Memorial Day.