Northeast Tennessee

Memorial Day Murph Challenge

Northeast Tennessee Johnson City Arrowhead (Indian Trail) Iron Horse (Founders Park) The Hill (Science Hill) Erwin Iron Valley (Love Chapel) Kingsport Wilderness Road (Dobyns-Bennett)

On this Memorial Day, 26 Pax gathered to pay our respects the only way we know how—honoring those who afforded us this opportunity with hard work and brotherhood.

The Murph Challenge has become a Memorial Day tradition for many across the country, F3 included. I’ve said repeatedly, if I could only do one workout the rest of my days—it would be Murph. I love the repetitive simplicity of the workout. It’s 3 exercises, a lot of reps, and some running. It’s a grind that forces you to dig deep and there’s always a variation to make it more challenging.

That’s what we did…


Instructions—YHC reminded the Pax to respect the integrity of the workout. Proper form and completion of all reps is expected.

Reading of the LT. Michael P. Murphy Congressional Medal of Honor Citation—Radar

BOM Prayer—Donatello


  • 1 Mile Run
  • 100 Pull-ups
  • 200 Push-ups
  • 300 Squats
  • 1 Mile run

With a 20lb weighted vest/body armor (if able).


The Pax put in some serious work today. The progress made over the past year was on full display. Two Pax (YHC & Rudy) Rx’d the workout with a 20lb vest and two others (Blart & FNG Doolittle) Rx’d it with 10-12lb tactical vest. Pythagoras dropped a new F3 Northeast Tennessee mark for an un-weighted Rx at 0:37. Several of the Pax were able to complete the workout as prescribed for the first time and others improved their times from January. For some it was their first Murph so baselines were set. Others moved up from doing body rows in January to band assisted pull-ups. Their times may have been slower, but they are stronger and one-step closer to completing the work as prescribed. Stated simply—the Pax pushed beyond their expected capabilities to get better, regardless of our respective starting points. That’s really the essence Murph.

Yes—Training Wheels edged out YHC on a side bet, knotting the ongoing Murph competition at 1 to 1, setting up a rubber match. Today he was finally able to Rx* the workout a bit faster than YHC could get it done with the vest. His Rx get’s an * because some of his pull-ups were a little suspect. However, the kid can run and a bet is a bet—breakfast on YHC. At 17 he’s our youngest Pax and posts with his Dad Sweaty Palms (R)—who also completed Murph today. It warmed my heart to see Training Wheels taking off to run the last mile with his Dad. Awesome. We give him a hard time, but we are pretty sure he’s going to do something special with his life.

Naked Moleskin

I’ve done Murph many times, but most often by myself, in the garage. We have done Murph one other time as an F3 Northeast Tennessee group, January 2nd to kick off the New Year. That was awesome, but today was different. I’m not exactly sure why. It could be the intentionality of honoring the fallen and LT. Murphy as a group. It could be that the guys have done it before, so there’s a bit more intensity in trying to hit goals. That’s all part of it, but it hit me towards the end of the workout. A couple of Pax were still working hard when others were done. No one left. When the last two headed out for the last mile—the other 24 Pax ran it with them.

In no way would equate what we do in F3 or during a workout to what the active duty military endures. These men, women, and their families have endured hardships, separation, and loss that most of us cannot imagine. For that, I’m grateful. At the same time there are parallels—lessons that can be learned—experiences that can shape our prevailing life paradigms. One-year ago I didn’t know any of these guys. As we huddled around in the BOM and I looked around the group—these guys mean something to me. They are not just workout partners. Speaking somewhat metaphorically—If I had to go into battle, there’s no group of men I’d rather take with me.

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