The 2021 Legion 9/11 Memorial Run N Gun is a centerfire biathlon – competitors will complete a 5k-ish or 10k-ish run combined with a shooting competition. The event is a test of man and equipment alike. It is intended to give participants an idea of how being hot, cold, exhausted, and challenged by the environment affects their shooting, and to test the effectiveness of their gear under field conditions. This event is not intended for inexperienced shooters – all participants are expected to be familiar with the operation of their firearms, and to observe basic principles of firearm safety at all times. With the exception of emergencies, Range Officers (ROs) are not allowed to help participants in any way. Good attitudes are a must. If you are the type of person who gets upset when minor changes are made to a plan or when you don’t always get your way, this is not the event for you.
Participants will receive both a score for their run based on how long it took them to complete the course, and a score for their shooting based on how long it took them to clear each course of fire. The run score and shooting score will be equally weighted in determining the participant’s final score. This is true run-what-you-brung field-style shooting. For the most part, if you want to carry it for 5 or 10 clicks, be our guest.
There are three equipment classes to reflect the different ways Green Berets fight: “Lightfighter” in which you can carry whatever you want, but are limited to one pistol and one rifle; “Operator” in which you must wear body armor with rifle-rated plates installed (front and back at a minimum), and are still limited to one pistol and rifle; and “Tier One” in which you must FINISH the race with a pack weighing at least 45 lbs (not including your main rifle and pistol) – but that pack may (and should) contain ANYTHING that can give you an advantage. The only limit is that pistol targets must be engaged with pistol rounds, and rifle targets must be engaged with rifle rounds. Want to carry a PCC? Be our guest. Think a scoped bolt gun or different upper in 6.5 Creedmore will give you an advantage? Go for it. You can even carry a shotgun to engage steel pistol targets if you want (birdshot only). Any weapons carried must be IN ADDITION to a primary rifle and pistol, and weight of the pack must be stand-alone (a plate carrier would not be included or required, for example). Packs may be removed prior to shooting, as that is how 5th Group would generally do it as well – but this will be done on your run time and BEFORE any wait time starts.
Shooters are expected to have all their firearms sighted in and all their gear ready to go on the morning of the shoot. There will be no zeroing at the event. Think of this as a test of how you and your equipment would perform in a Second Amendment situation if you had to go take care of business at your current state of readiness, whatever that is. Run order will be more or less random. We will try to be accommodating to participants who wish to share firearms or equipment (we can have one person run in the morning and the other in the afternoon), or to partners who wish to run together. Due to issues with back-ups and large groups in the past, only two runners can start together.
The only equipment that is strictly required to participate is a safe center fire rifle, a safe center fire pistol, enough ammo to clear the course (at least twice the minimum required hit count is recommended), eye protection, ear protection, and some form of stopwatch. Rifle targets must be engaged with rifle rounds (no larger than 30-06), and pistol targets must be engaged with pistol rounds. In everything but the “Tier One” class, competitors must carry one rifle and one pistol. Everything else is up to the participant. Shooters may use any type of gear they want to carry their equipment with, the only requirement being that pistols must be carried in a secure holster that covers the trigger if they are to be carried loaded. Rifles may be carried any way you like, as long as they remain pointed in a safe direction. You may not use tracers or armor piercing bullets that have a hardened penetrator core, as we will be using lots of steel targets that we don’t want to see damaged. To be safe – if your bullet attracts a magnet or has a green tip, leave it at home.
First and foremost, all participants will be expected to comply with basic firearms safety at all times. If you demonstrate inability or unwillingness to follow basic firearm safety, you will be asked to leave, with no refund and no apology. Muzzles must be pointed in a safe direction at all times, and fingers must be off the trigger unless the firearm is pointed at a target. Long guns shall only be loaded when a shooter is at a rifle stage, after the RO has given the “fire” command. Shooters may leave their handguns loaded at all times if in a secure holster. However, loaded handguns must remain in that holster unless the shooter has been given the “fire” command on a shooting stage. Some stages will be active, involving moving and shooting. Firearms may remain loaded during movement, but strict muzzle discipline must be maintained.
Shooters will be disqualified (DQ’d) and not allowed to finish the course for the following violations: having a loaded rifle anywhere EXCEPT on a shooting stage after the “beep”, dropping a loaded pistol, pointing a loaded weapon at someone, or having a Negligent Discharge (ND). It is solely the judgement of my Staff that I trust if these should occur, and if you argue with an RO you will lose.
When a shooter approaches a station, he will be required to show the RO an empty mag well and empty chamber on his long gun(s). If another shooter is currently on the stage when he arrives, the one who just arrived will be instructed by the RO to start his stopwatch to keep track of his wait time (this will be subtracted off the participant’s run time when his run score is calculated). It is purely the shooter’s responsibility to keep track of his wait time. The ROs have no responsibility whatsoever to help you do this. Even if an RO offers to help you keep track of your time, you have no one but yourself to blame if this is not done. When the shooter is ready to shoot the stage, the RO will record his wait time if any. The shooter will be given a quick summary of the course of fire. The RO will ask if the shooter understands the course of fire. If the answer is yes, the shooter will be given the “fire” command, at which time he may load his rifle and/or draw his pistol and begin shooting the stage. All stages will have a zone where the shooter must fire from -- either a particular hole in a barricade that you must shoot through, or a marked zone on the ground, in which every part of your body or equipment which touches the ground must remain inside of when you fire. Hits made from outside the designated area will not count toward completion of the course of fire. Every shooting stage will have a 3 minute time limit. This is to keep the runners moving and to prevent large backups of shooters waiting to shoot a stage. At the end of that 3 minute period, the shooter will be stopped and time penalties applied to their score for any target not fully neutralized as per the course of fire requirements. If for any reason the “cease fire” command is given, you will immediately cease fire, holster your handgun, and unload your rifle. You will do likewise when you complete a stage, or time out. The RO should tell you your time for the stage. The RO will record your time on their iPad. You may want to carry a pen and notepad to keep track of your score in there is a mix-up with the scoring. Every shooter must show the RO an empty mag well and chamber on his rifle before leaving each stage. The RO will give directions on where to go to continue down the trail. Shooters are NOT required to leave their rifle’s bolt open during the run… this is actually discouraged, as it will allow lots of that beautiful Tennessee red clay to accumulate inside the action. There will be ample opportunity for this to happen on the course.
The path for participants to follow will be marked with brightly colored flags and/or tape. Shooters must stay close to the marked path. Do not cut corners. Failure to follow the marked trail may take you into the impact area of a hot range!!! If the trail takes you through some difficult terrain, this is on purpose! Parts of the trail may be down a road. Keep to the left edge of the road and watch for traffic.
This event is in a remote area, and you need to be aware of over-exertion. We should have some folks with medical skills on hand, but your health is your responsibility. If you start having problems, slow down... drink some water... listen to your body! There is no shame in walking the course; know yourself and your limitations.
Dead Zero Shooting Park is in a remote area south of Spencer, TN, so lodging may be challenging. Primitive camping will be allowed on-site for $10/night. Call Dead Zero at 423-800-7758 to make a reservation to camp. Cabins and campgrounds will full hookups are available at Fall Creek Falls State Park about 15 miles away, but the Mountaineer Folk Festival is being held there this weekend so most of these sites are booked well in advance. The city of Dunlap is less than 20 miles to the south and has a couple hotels, restaurants, and a Walmart. The cities of Chattanooga and Cookeville are within about 40 miles and have all sorts of nicer options for food and lodging.
There will be people on site all day Friday, as the ROs will be running the course. Registration opens at 6:30 a.m. and closes at 7:30 a.m on the morning of the match. The safety briefing begins at 7:30 a.m. Anyone who does not get signed in by 7:30 will not be allowed to participate, so be on time. The first runner will be sent out at 8:00 a.m., and another runner will be sent out in a uniform interval thereafter. The ROs will have run the course the day before. They will be scored along with all the other contestants. After the last runner has crossed the finish line, we will calculate the results. The winners will be announced, and trophies and prizes will be awarded as 5th Group sees fit.
How to Sign Up:
The registration fee for the Legion 9/11 Memorial Run N Gun is $100 for the 5k and $150 for the 10k. Registration will be limited in number so all runners can finish the course before dark. Registration will be handled through Practiscore, Dead Zero will have you sign a waiver the morning of the match, and we will collect full payment (CASH or CHECK ONLY – NO CREDIT/DEBIT CARDS WILL BE ACCEPTED AND THERE IS NO ATM ONSITE) the morning of the match. Make sure you are familiar with all of our rules and procedures before signing up. All participants must register under their true names. Tickets are non-transferable. Pre-registration is mandatory, and no walk-ons will be allowed on match day as space and time is limited.
Several discounted slots are being held for active-duty 5th Group personnel. If you are 5th Group, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm your status and claim your reduced competitor slot.
All proceeds from the match will go the Special Forces Association, Chapter 38. Learn more about them here: http://sfa38.org/
Please cancel your registration through Practiscore as soon as you know you can’t come. We always have several people on the waitlist, and if you don’t cancel early enough not only can they not get in, but the Special Forces Association won’t max out the contribution we can make to them. DON’T BE THAT GUY who just decides not to show up and doesn’t tell anyone.
The start and finish line are both located near the Pro Shop at Dead Zero Shooting Park, 1195 TN-111 Scenic, Spencer, TN 38585. Chattanooga, TN has a small airport and is less than an hour’s drive from Dead Zero. Nashville International Airport is a little under two hours’ drive.
Pictures, as always, by the amazing Lisa Stennett