That didn’t mean that Murray was finished with running, however.
Murray, a rising sophomore at Miami University of Ohio and a member of the school’s club cross country team, is continuing his annual Fourth of July tradition of running in the Peachtree Road Race.
It will be the sixth time that the Roswell resident will take part in the prestigious 6.2-mile road race, which will be held Friday.
Murray will be among the 60,000 participants who will run the 10K course from the starting line at Lenox Square mall in Buckhead to the finish at Piedmont Park on 10th Street in midtown Atlanta.
Last year’s Peachtree was a breakthrough for Murray, who — fresh off of his senior year at Blessed Trinity — crossed the finish line with a personal-best time of 34 minutes, 24 seconds to finish in 119th place overall, 90th among the men and sixth in the men’s 15-19 age group.
He also recorded the second-fastest time among Roswell residents, behind his coach at Blessed Trinity, Greg Johnson (32:54).
His time in the 2013 Peachtree was almost three minutes faster than his time of 37:22 in 2012, when he finished 239th overall.
“Last year’s race was really good,” Murray said. “Of course, the weather kind of cooperated. It wasn’t as hot as it normally is for the Peachtree. Also, that was the first time that I trained through the entire year – fall, winter, spring and summer – leading up to the Peachtree. Just the training I did with coach Johnson and my teammates, it really helped me get into good shape for the high school season and it carried over to the Peachtree. So, all the credit goes to coach Johnson and the teammates I trained with.”
Murray said he is looking forward to another strong outing at this year’s Peachtree.
“I’m definitely more fit than I was last year,” Murray said. “But with the training I’m doing, I may not be as race ready this year as I was last year. I’m doing more base mileage training more for the fall season [at Miami] as opposed to the Peachtree this summer. I’m still hoping to match the results I did last year.”
For Murray, the Peachtree is every bit as much of a holiday celebration as it is a competitive race.
“The race is competitive – but even beyond that, it’s just a good Atlanta tradition,” Murray said. “I think there’s about 60,000 people in the race, so there’s so many people there and with all the festivities that are going on and all the support that you get, it’s a great way to celebrate the holiday. I run it with family members every year, so it’s kind of a family thing and just a good way for the city of Atlanta to celebrate the Fourth of July.”
Murray ran in three consecutive state cross country meets during his career at Blessed Trinity, finishing 16th with a time of 16:36.54 as a senior in Class AAA 2012, 27th with a time of 17:47.29 as a junior in 2011 and 33rd with a time of 18:07.99 as a sophomore in 2010.
His efforts helped lead Blessed Trinity to spots on the awards podium all three years, with the Titans finishing fourth in AAA in 2012 and third and fourth in AA in 2011 and 2010 respectively.
“It was a real good career and I enjoyed all of it,” Murray said. “I feel like we really built the program back up where it was like we had a good group of senior leaders and I was just really happy to work with them and coach Johnson, who came later in my career. He really improved the culture there as far as running goes.”
Murray said he is looking forward to his sophomore year on the cross country and track club teams at Miami after a successful freshman season last year.
“Freshman year was a lot of fun,” Murray said. “My training was really good the summer leading up to it. I ended up running four new [personal-best times] over various distances in both cross country and track, so I saw a lot of improvement. But next year, I would expect even more, just because the competition is much better in college and that pushes you in the races.”