Memorial Day Murph Challenge gives back to United Heroes League

Memorial Day Weekend is often a popular time to enjoy a long weekend grilling or at the cabin. But it’s main purpose is to honor our military who give their lives for our daily freedoms.

Military members, law enforcement, first responders and the CrossFit world around the globe will spend the weekend paying tribute to former U.S. Navy Seal Michael Murphy. He died in June of 2008 on active duty in Afghanistan, and now has the hero workout "Murph" named in his honor.

It starts with a one-mile run, followed by 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 air squats and another one-mile run to finish, all while wearing a weighted vest. For the second straight year, TCO Performance Center is the host site for the Murph Challenge on Sunday. Athletes pay a registration fee, and all proceeds from the event will go to the United Heroes League. The organization’s mission is to get kids in military families better access to sports. Their funds help pay for equipment, camp and clinic fees for kids who might not otherwise get the opportunity to play a sport they love.

Tom Chorske, well-known in the hockey world, is now the vice president of partnerships and development with the United Heroes League.

"The Murph Challenge is pretty incredible, it’s the second year of being the beneficiary and we’re so grateful. I wish I was in better shape to take part in it, but this Murph Challenge is amazing," Chorske said. "It’s an amazing workout that Murphy the Military man had created. These funds that are getting generated, donated and will come back to United Heroes League will go towards programming."

Chorske first got involved with the United Heroes League through his NHL routes and Defending the Blue Line. UHL now offers a yearly golf outing, a refrigerated outdoor rink in Hastings with the help of Scheels, a fundraising gala, an ice fishing event with former Twins' star Justin Morneau and a military grade confidence course at their headquarters in Hastings that offers corporate and team building events.

Chorske says it’s humbling to be one piece of a worldwide event to honor military on Memorial Day. Last year, about 150 people did the Murph Challenge at TCO.

"It kind of gives you chills. I know Murph was a Seal team guy and this thing has really grown. It’s just one of those events and one of those missions that everyone wants to get behind it," Chorske said. "The fact that it’s happening around the country, you think of all the individuals out there working their butts off. It’s a beast of a workout, but amazing to think that there will be thousands of people doing it this weekend."

"Overwhelming is the word that comes to mind," said Tyler Polzin with Framework Events, the team helping host Sunday’s Murph Challenge in Eagan. "Anyone can come out and do these movements and get around the cause, supporting our veterans, supporting our active military, remembering what Memorial Day is really about."

The Murph Challenge is in its 11th year, and participating partners donating to the United Heroes League include local gyms CrossFit City of Lakes, CrossFit Eagan. FitHaus and CrossFit Hopkins. City of Lakes is doing a Hero WOD Marathon on Saturday, and will be donating $5,000 to the United Heroes League.