THE START of the Michael P. Murphy trail race at Whiskeag Trail in Bath as seen last spring.

THE START of the Michael P. Murphy trail race at Whiskeag Trail in Bath as seen last spring.

BATH

The sixth annual Michael P. Murphy trail race will take place Saturday at Bath’s Whiskeag Trail.

Known as “The Murph,” the race is hosted by the Bath Parks and Recreation Department and honors fallen Navy SEAL Michael Murphy, who died in a mountaintop battle in Afghanistan in 2005. The battle was later depicted in the 2014 film “Lone Survivor.”

In 2012, Bath Iron Works built and delivered the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Michael Murphy to the Navy.

Bath Parks and Recreation Director Steve Balboni said that there will be 20 volunteers from the Navy who will be directing runners through the woods and cheering them on. A few members of the Navy will run the race as well. Balboni said he expects around 180 people to participate in the race.

Terry Smith, a close family friend of Murphy, will speak before the race begins, as he has been doing for the past two years.

“He adds a nice touch before the race,” said Andy Kaherl, assistant director of Bath Parks and Rec. “Most people who are at the starting line are crying by the time it’s over.”

Kaherl said that once the race begins, the most unique aspect is the involvement of Navy personnel.

“Having Navy runners on the trail gives runners extra motivation,” said Kaherl.

The Navy members involved in this year’s race are currently stationed on the USS Michael Monsoor, which is still at BIW.

BIW spokesman David Hench said that BIW is proud of its continued involvement in the race.

“‘The Murph’ is a wonderful event that many BIW employees participate in each year,” said Hench. “It honors a remarkable individual whose courage and sacrifice are an inspiration.”

Registration and number pick-up for the trail race begins on Saturday at 7 a.m. at McMann Athletic Complex. Participants will then be transported by bus to Whiskeag Trail. The race begins at 8:30 a.m.

Wet weather is expected for Saturday’s race, but Balboni said the rain increases the appeal.

“It’s a weather race, as every year it seems to rain,” said Balboni. “It’s a fun course to run in the rain. We’ve been out on the course this week. It’s wet and messy, but that’s a trail race for you.”

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