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Annual Lake Ronkonkoma ‘Murphy Run’ returns this summer with new route in Hauppauge

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The 2021 Navy SEAL LT Michael P. Murphy Run Around The Lake is back and participants can expect a new race route this year. 

The annual race will take place on June 26 at Blydenburgh Park across from the Dennison Building in Hauppauge.  

The distances have been adjusted to both a 5K and 15K. 

The race was typically held around Lake Ronkonkoma.

“Our county executives, Run Committee, and race timers (elitefeats) worked tirelessly to find a venue that would accommodate COVID staffing limitations and the result is a beautiful site that rivals our beloved Lake Ronkonkoma,” the Ronkonkoma Rotary said in a statement on the race’s official website. “We will, as a devoted community of runners, innovate, adapt, and overcome in 2021.”

The 15K will start at the Dennison Building at 7 a.m., the 5K begins at 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. is the Fun Run. 

The event will happen rain or shine. 

The Ronkonkoma Rotary launched the race in 1980 — at the time, only 35 individuals participated. 

Over the years, the number of attendees gradually grew and today, the race attracts thousands. 

Previously deemed “The Long Island 4 Mile Championship,” Dan Murphy approached the rotary in 2012 with the idea of teaming up with the Michael Murphy Foundation to make the race in honor of his son, fallen U.S. Navy SEAL LT Michael Murphy — who was killed in battle.  

Michael Murphy was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during the War in Afghanistan.

Murpy was also a Patchogue-Medford High School graduate and not only was he from the Ronkonkoma area, but actually swam in Lake Ronkonkoma as a lifeguard for Brookhaven Town in his youth. 

The partnership proved to be a perfect match. 

In 2012, the first Murphy Run Around The Lake drew in around 900 runners, including actor Taylor Kitsch, who played the part of Michael in the movie “Lone Survivor.” 

Last year’s in-person race was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and instead was held virtually. 

Even though individuals were not together on the momentous day, the race still hooked in 2,300 participants. 

This fueled the Ronkonkoma Rotary to make the race work for 2021. 

“Blydenburgh Park will provide a unique and scenic venue for our return to the Navy SEAL Michael P. Murphy run and walk,” a spokesperson of the rotary said. “Come join us for this historic run in honor of Michael and the heroes of Operation Red Wings.” 

For more information on the race, visit the event’s website or Facebook page.

Top: Runners from the 2018 Murph Run Around The Lake, courtesy of the Ronkonkoma Rotary’s Facebook page.