LHRR salutes Ted Murphy
LHRR salutes Ted Murphy
LITCHFIELD – On one of those comfortable, all is right with the world picturesque early June nights there was a lot of what the Litchfield Hills Road Race is on display at Litchfield Country Club.
And a lot of what the LHRR has always been are laughs, friends, a libation (or two) and a spirit of giving that has marked the race since its inception in 1977. This night was about giving a big thanks to one of the biggest givers – Ted Murphy, owner of E.J. Murphy Real Estate.
You see Murphy is one of those big-hearted people that you can’t do without. They type that you ask for help once and they are in for the duration. Reliable with a smile. In this the 20th year of the kid’s races, Ted Murphy and his business has been the main sponsor.
Two decades through thick and thin and at times difficult real estate times. Through it all the kids’ races have grown. In 1994 it all started with a little dash in the center of town for the 5, 6, and 7-year olds. In 1995 a one-mile race4 for 8-9 year-olds was added and in 2000 the 2.3 mile competitive race for 10-12 year-olds was added.
“I went to Ted in the beginning and he didn’t blink and said he would be glad to sponsor the race,” said the guiding force behind the kid’s races, Jack Neller. “I would dread making the call every year, I mean, real estate has its ups and downs. I would call every February and finally he said, ‘stop calling I’m in.’ It was automatic, unheard of.”
Murphy foots the bill for the timing chips, kid’s food, race numbers, trophies and all expenses. He revels in the opportunity.
“It’s one of the best things I’ve done for the kids of Litchfield and around the area,” said Murphy. "When you do things for the right reasons it all comes back. This is great, I’ve enjoyed the last 20 years. If you can’t give back to the community what the hell are you doing in business?”
The affable Murphy was caught by surprise on this night. He showed up for what he thought was a pre-LHRR meeting. Then Neller let him know the reception was for him.
“I don’t deserve this, the real people are the Nellers,” said the surprised Murphy pointing to Jack Neller and his wife Cathy. “And she’s the brains. The Nellers put all of this on.”
About 40 people attended the reception and Murphy was presented with a glass trophy inscribed: `Presented to E.J. Murphy Realty In Appreciation for your Individual Sponsorship of the Litchfield Hills Road Race Children’s Races 1994-2013.’
In all honesty there weren’t many runners on the veranda of Litchfield Country Club Monday night. But the soul of the LHRR were there – the workers, the organizers, the givers. And nobody has given more the Ted Murphy. He was surprised, nobody else was. They knew.