Arizona man on a mission to Alcatraz

Posted: Updated:
An Arizona man is racing the grueling "Escape from the Rock" duathlon at Alcatraz and also hoping to save a life. (Source: Michael Murtaugh) An Arizona man is racing the grueling "Escape from the Rock" duathlon at Alcatraz and also hoping to save a life. (Source: Michael Murtaugh)
A seven-week stay at Calvary Healing Center in Phoenix, in his mid-40s, finally ended the cycle. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) A seven-week stay at Calvary Healing Center in Phoenix, in his mid-40s, finally ended the cycle. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
CAVE CREEK, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

An Arizona man is racing the grueling "Escape from the Rock" duathlon at Alcatraz and also hoping to save a life.

"I'm here to tell you there's hope," said Michael Murtaugh of Cave Creek.

From the age of 11, Murtaugh suffered a cycle of addictions.

"Cocaine, alcohol and meth," said Murtaugh. "It ended up in failure with school, with relationships, plus stealing and jail time."

A seven-week stay at Calvary Healing Center in Phoenix, in his mid-40s, finally ended the cycle.

He has been clean for more than seven years, and is now "paying it back."

In addition to speaking and counseling in different rehab programs, he's using this year's "Escape from the Rock" to raise money to put someone else through Calvary.

The five-day detox, plus 30-day rehabilitation costs about $19,000.

Racing alongside him will be his friend, Charlie Webb, who took Murtaugh in when he got out of jail. He was homeless and addicted to meth at the time.

"I've known a lot of people who haven't made it. I looked at him and thought, 'This cat's not going to make it,'' said Webb from California.

Webb is also marking a milestone at the race, becoming the first paraplegic to paddle and wheel his way through the course, beginning in the water near Alcatraz.

"I get emotional because he's doing good things," said Webb. "This is a gift of life he's giving someone else."

To learn more about his cause, or contribute, visit http://bit.ly/2wHPzG9.

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Jared DillinghamJared anchors the weekend newscasts at 5, 6, 9 and 10pm on both 3TV and CBS5. He also reports during the week for both stations.

Click to learn more about Jared.

Jared Dillingham

Over his decade in Phoenix, Jared has worked all shifts at 3TV, including a yearlong stint anchoring the weekend morning show.

Since 2007, Jared has covered everything from Senator John McCain's campaign for president, to the Jodi Arias trial, to the largest wildfire in Arizona history.

Jared grew up in New York, and graduated from Syracuse University with degrees in broadcast journalism and political science.

After internships at News12 Long Island and NBC in Washington, DC, Jared moved to beautiful "Big Sky Country." He spent a year at KRTV in Great Falls, Montana, before moving to KREM in Spokane, Washington.

The Valley has truly become "home" for Jared. He lives in Phoenix, and spends his mornings listening to as many news/political podcasts as possible, while walking his (now elderly) rescue dogs, Gabby and Bree.

On his days off, Jared can be found at any of the local restaurants which have popped up in the city since he first moved here, or hiking Piestewa Peak or Camelback Mountain.

He also travels as much as possible and runs a blog with advice on visiting cities around the world.

Hide bio

  • Featured VideoMore>>

  • Mesa woman and relative looking for vacation refund after serious accident

    Mesa woman and relative looking for vacation refund after serious accident

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 12:30 AM EDT2018-05-23 04:30:11 GMT
    Anna Bliss said she bought travel insurance and when she canceled her trip, she was expecting a full refund but hasn't gotten it. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)Anna Bliss said she bought travel insurance and when she canceled her trip, she was expecting a full refund but hasn't gotten it. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
    Anna Bliss said she bought travel insurance and when she canceled her trip, she was expecting a full refund but hasn't gotten it. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)Anna Bliss said she bought travel insurance and when she canceled her trip, she was expecting a full refund but hasn't gotten it. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    The woman says she has travel insurance and believes she should get a full refund.

    More >

    The woman says she has travel insurance and believes she should get a full refund.

    More >
  • Trashed cellphones sparking fires; ASU team working to make lithium batteries safer

    Trashed cellphones sparking fires; ASU team working to make lithium batteries safer

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 12:17 AM EDT2018-05-23 04:17:42 GMT
    Lithium-ion batteries shouldn't be thrown in the trash or put in normal recycling. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)Lithium-ion batteries shouldn't be thrown in the trash or put in normal recycling. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    Don’t throw out that busted cell phone or laptop. Don’t put it in the normal recycling bin either. That’s the message from city planners across the country after a growing number of fires in garbage trucks and at waste facilities linked to rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.

    More >

    Don’t throw out that busted cell phone or laptop. Don’t put it in the normal recycling bin either. That’s the message from city planners across the country after a growing number of fires in garbage trucks and at waste facilities linked to rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.

    More >
  • Senate hopeful Joe Arpaio mum on details of Trump policies

    Senate hopeful Joe Arpaio mum on details of Trump policies

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 10:31 PM EDT2018-05-23 02:31:16 GMT
    Former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio arrives Tuesday at the Arizona Secretary of State’s office in Phoenix to turn in petition signatures in his bid to appear on the ballot in the race to succeed retiring U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake. (Source: AP Photo/Matt York)Former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio arrives Tuesday at the Arizona Secretary of State’s office in Phoenix to turn in petition signatures in his bid to appear on the ballot in the race to succeed retiring U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake. (Source: AP Photo/Matt York)

    In his 24 years as metro Phoenix’s sheriff, Arpaio wasn’t known for immersing himself in the policies and inner workings of his office and often prided himself on farming out those details to his underlings.

    More >

    In his 24 years as metro Phoenix’s sheriff, Arpaio wasn’t known for immersing himself in the policies and inner workings of his office and often prided himself on farming out those details to his underlings.

    More >