By Halle Thornton
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Thirty-six Airmen participated in The Murph 2018 at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, May 11.
The competition is held in honor U.S. Navy SEAL Lt. Michael Murphy, who was killed in action June 28, 2005, while serving in Afghanistan.
Murphy created the challenge, a 1-mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups and 300 body squats followed by another 1-mile run, which athletes try to finish as quickly as possible.
The competition is held around Memorial Day every year to honor Murphy’s service.
First place male went to Chad Miller with a time of 28:09, and first place female went to 2nd Lt. Veronica Leddy, operations engineering chief with the 50th Civil Engineering Squadron, with a time of 40:41.
First time competitor at Schriever AFB, 2nd Lt. Albaro Pillco, student with the 50th Operations Support Squadron, finished with a time of 29:40, which crowned him the second place male.
He said his overall experience was great, and he met his time goal of completing the challenge in under 30 minutes.
“A couple of friends and I decided to take on the challenge, and doing it together helped us push each other,” he added.
Pillco said the beginning run was the hardest part.
“My body was cold as I started running, I wanted to run fast and get it over with, but had to remember that pacing myself was key to completing the workout,” he said. “The most rewarding moment was the middle of the workout, around 15 minutes in. As I finished a set of pullups, I took a brief moment to appreciate the crowd that came out to support us.”
Seth Cannello, fitness center director with the 50th Force Support Squadron, was impressed by the hard work Airmen put into the competition.
“All the competitors faced huge obstacles, and seeing how individuals pushed through their pain and cheered each other on was inspiring,” he said. “We had some very impressive times and it’s good to see new and old faces. I think people are starting to train specifically for this event and are pushing themselves to improve their time from year-to-year.”
Pillco was also inspired by the amount of dedication the Airmen put into the workout in memory of a fellow service member.
“We had an amazing group of warriors pushing their bodies to the limit in memory of Murphy,” he said. “We also had the support from family members and coworkers that morning.”
Also a first time competitor in Schriever AFB’s competition, 2nd Lt. David Ulman, orbital analyst with the 22nd Space Operations Squadron, finished with a time of 42:25.
He completed the workout in about 50 minutes a week before the event, and was happy to beat his time.
Ulman previously participated in The Murph at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, and said he likes doing fitness events like this because they are fun and challenging.
“It’s a brutal workout, and the altitude definitely changes things,” he said. “The hardest part was the pullups, and the best part was actually finishing.”
Cannello said the event was a success.
“I was very happy with the turnout, it was our largest to date, and it was fun to see the camaraderie among the participants,” he said. “There were several squadrons throughout the day that competed as a unit. I really like seeing how workmates interact with one another in a non-work environment.”
Cannello congratulated all who participated in the event, but specifically recognized the older competitors.
“We had a group of ‘seasoned’ competitors that have been taking on this challenge for years and they deserve some special recognition,” he said. “They are long past what should be their athletic prime, but completed this very tough event despite being nearly twice as old as the average competitor.”
Pillco emphasized the reason he competed in the competition was to honor Murphy.
“The Murph was a small ‘thank you’ for his many lessons, service and for inspiring a new era of warriors,” he said.