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2023 Legion Memorial Run N Gun: Sept 9-10, Spencer, TN

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The best place to learn all the details about this year's match is on the Facebook Event Page at https://www.facebook.com/events/1271554906822529/- but I totally get that we have several people who (rightly) hate Facebook, so I'll repost what I think are the important points here for non-FBers. Don't be shy if you have questions or if I've left anything out.




The 2023 Legion Memorial Run N Gun is a centerfire biathlon – competitors will complete a 5k-ish or 10k-ish wilderness trail 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 two 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; or “Operator” in which you must FINISH the race with a pack weighing at least 45 lbs (not including your main rifle, pistol, and belt/chest rig) – 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 MAY include the weight of armor plates if you want to either wear or carry them in the pack. 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.

The Team Night Match will have no equipment divisions. Anything you want to carry for the entire course and that will not damage props/targets or cause a safety issue is allowed.

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 Run:

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.  

Your Fitness:

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. A Hotel/Lodge, Cabins and campgrounds with 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 for the day matches open 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 $150 for the 5k,  $200 for the 10k, and $500 per team for the Team Night Match ($250/person).  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 - Edit:  payment may be online, we're currently investigating this) 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 mstennett@twlakes.net 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/

Cancellation Policy:

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 Lisa Stennett

Edited by Matt in TN
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  • 4 weeks later...
On 4/4/2023 at 10:39 PM, DmG said:

When do you expect registration will open up? Will you post an update here when it does??



Typically 90 days before match day.  I will post a date and registration link here about two weeks prior.  Be warned - it usually sells out in less than a minute.

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I am saddened beyond words (and dumbfounded, and angry, and so many other things I can't even comprehend right now) to share that we lost Trevor Graves last week.  Trevor was a 5th Special Forces Group Captain and cofounder of the Legion Memorial Run N Gun, and a huge positive influence on so many people from so many different walks of life I don't think we'll ever truly know how wide his reach was.

Everyone around him is struggling right now, but understands there are hundreds (thousands?) of people who want to do SOMETHING to show their support - so they set up the gofundme below.

I want to write more, but this is all I can do right now.  More to come as we get through this.


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  • 1 month later...

I am excited to announce Jay Roberts will be Match Director for our first ever Team Night Match this year!  I will be MD for the day match as usual while he tries to sleep a little.

Fair warning:  the Team Night Match is designed for Special Forces guys, along with all of their skills and equipment capabilities.  Civilians are welcome to participate, but may be frustrated trying to complete the tasks with civilian-grade equipment.  This is a true "Anything goes" match with no equipment rules/limitations other than you have to carry it for the entire 5k-ish course.  There will be times when white light is your best tool, times with high power IR is your best tool, and could be times when zero emissions are necessary.  

The basic course will be the daytime 5k trail and stages, but with some team and night oriented special challenges along the way.  Expect rifle shots to 4-500 yds and several skills tests focused toward SF skills including "Split Team Operations"

And above all, expect surprises.  Improvise, adapt, and overcome!  The match fee will be high, but in line with other team matches at $500 per team ($250/competitor), and there will be VERY limited slots available to the general public - this will only take place on Saturday night.  Pair up now and start your training! 


Edited by Matt in TN
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Literally every single person who has been involved with this match has told us we don't charge enough. Between that and selling out in under a minute yet again last year, we are listening and raising the match fees this year to try to raise as much money as we can to help our friends from the 5th Special Forces Group.

Match Fees for 2023 are as follows:

5k: $150
10k: $200
Team Night Match: $500 ($250/shooter)

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We are streamlining and refining the equipment divisions this year.  There will only be two 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; or

“Operator” in which you must FINISH the race with a pack weighing at least 45 lbs (not including your main rifle, pistol, and belt/chest rig) – 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 MAY include the weight of armor plates if you want to either wear or carry them in the pack. 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.

The Team Night Match will have no equipment divisions. Anything you want to carry for the entire course and that will not damage props/targets or cause a safety issue is allowed. 


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Registration will open at 10:00am Central Time on Saturday, June 10th.  This is 90 days before match day, and should give you plenty of time to train up and find make travel plans.  Lodging is limited in this area and there is another event at the nearby State Park this weekend, so secure lodging ASAP or you might end up camping onsite ($10/night - purely primitive camping).

This is the 5k registration link:  https://practiscore.com/5k-legion-9-11-memorial-run-n-gun-2023/register

This is the 10k registration link: https://practiscore.com/10k-legion-memorial-run-n-gun-2023/register

This is the Team Night Match registration link:  https://practiscore.com/team-night-match-legion-memorial-run-n-gun-2023/register

Competitors will only be allowed to register for ONE match at this time to allow as many different people in as possible.  If you register for more than one, I'm going to delete it.  If there are openings as we get closer to match day, we may allow multiple match entries.

The past several years this match has sold out in under one minute.  If you want in, make plans to be near a computer and hitting the "refresh" key repeatedly right at 10:00am on June 10th.  If you don't get in - be sure to get on the waitlist as I'm holding several slots for active duty 5SFG that may become available to the public at the last minute.

Approved staff should have just received an email with instructions on how to register ahead of the masses.  Let me know if you think you're staff but haven't received this.


Edited by Matt in TN
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We honored Kenton Stacy at the 2018 Legion Memorial Run N Gun (Stage 3:  Raqqah Rumble: https://youtu.be/_Y-38wzV29A).  He was grievously injured in a blast in Syria in 2017 - but survived!  Every day has been a struggle since then, for both he and his family.  His wife created a Facebook page for him to keep everyone updated on his progress (and his setbacks).

PLEASE take a few dollars and a few minutes from your day to mail him a birthday card for his 40th birthday.  Share it with all your friends.  I would love nothing more than for this to go viral and we'll see him get so many cards they won't all fit on the cruise ship!


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  • 2 weeks later...

Our very first stage this year will set the sentiment for the entire match:  Stage 1 honors CPT Trevor Graves.  Co-founder of the Legion Memorial Run N Gun.  Deep conversationalist (in five different languages!) and enthusiast in so many varied subjects it was impossible to keep track.  A guy with truly big ideas who poured his heart and soul into making each one happen - usually at a frenetic pace most of us struggled to keep up with.

In this stage: react to an attack, work at an insane optempo, improvise adapt and overcome on the fly, shoot from a moving vehicle, and partner with actual Green Berets to overcome the enemy. 


  • Like 1
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In another "humbling first" for us, Stage 2 will be designed by a teammate of the fallen we are honoring:  SSG Jason L. Brown.

In this stage: defend against a surprise attack, apply first aid to your downed teammate, then eliminate the enemy before they can escape.


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I am happy to share that Bachstein Consulting LLC has confirmed they are in as a Stage Sponsor this year.  Bachstein Consulting offers a unique assortment of skills from engineering design, contract submissions, project management, test and evaluation, and quality assurance.  They have years of experience in the firearms industry and government test centers.  Check them out at:  https://bachsteinconsulting.com/



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  • 2 weeks later...

Comms warning:  just like last year, there will be an advantage to carrying a radio on your kit.

Every Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA, the basic team unit of Special Forces) has TWO 18Es (Special Forces Communications Sergeant) - this is how critical comms are to SF. They are the communication "specialists" on the team and make sure the team can communicate internally (short range comms), they can talk back to command/intel/whoever (long range comms), and even communicate with and provide basic air traffic control for supporting aircraft on a mission.

To try to give you JUST A TASTE of integrating comms into your match, we're adding a special bonus this year. IF YOU CARRY A RADIO ON YOUR KIT AND KNOW HOW TO USE IT, YOU'LL HAVE AN ADVANTAGE. During the morning brief, you'll be given the "enemy radio frequency" (this will be somewhere in the 70cm UHF ham band) to monitor while you run. If you know how to use your gear and pay attention, you'll hear the enemy transmitting information that can help you. You DO NOT HAVE TO HAVE A HAM LICENSE to do this. Anyone can listen to any frequency at any time - no license is needed for that.

If you don't want to fool with this at all you don't have to. You can still run the course and complete all the challenges, but you may miss the extra bonus that comes if you know how to run comms on your kit.

The night team match may require actual radio communication between team members.  Radios will be provided there for those who don't have them, but team match guys will be MUCH more efficient if they have their own radios and have practiced communicating with them while moving and firing.  Just sayin' -


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Everybody knows SF guys are badass.  What most people DON'T realize is how intelligent they are, and how much time they spend working on ways to improve their brainpower and solve really complex problems under stress.  Did you know every single one of them speaks at least one foreign language (many of them speak FIVE!)?  How many languages do YOU speak?

To help showcase this better, for the first time ever we're working with 5SFG(A)'s Cognitive Performance Specialist to help us give competitors just a TASTE of things like this 5th Group does. That means we are really stepping up the mind games this year with his help! In addition to working on your running and shooting, you just might want to pump up that 3lbs of jelly between your ears too.

To put your mind at ease: we are not testing any esoteric technical and/or language knowledge. You don't have to KNOW anything - but you do have to be able to observe things and think well under pressure (and while you're exhausted).


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I am pleased to share that Tomahawk Strategic Solutions is returning this year as a Stage Sponsor.  

Tomahawk creates programs to better prepare your organization for evolving threats and emergency situations.  Tomahawk personnel include Special Operations Forces (SOF) operators, corporate security experts, SWAT/ESU/Patrol officers (retired and active) hand-selected for their specialized skills and experience, and medical professionals.

Check them out at:  https://tomahawkstrategicsolutions.com/


Edited by Matt in TN
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  • 2 weeks later...

I am excited to welcome Nocturnality Night Vision Devices to the fold as an Obstacle Sponsor.  Nocturnality is donating a White Phosphor PVS14 ($3,699 retail value) for us to raffle off at the match!  Must be present to win - and the raffle will be drawn at the awards ceremony for the Team Night Match.

We still have a few slots left for the night match.  Register here:  https://practiscore.com/team-night-match-legion-memorial-run-n-gun-2023/register

You don't have to be a night competitor to win, but you DO have to stay up all night and physically be at the night awards ceremony.  Oh yeah - and have the winning ticket.  How bad do you want it???

Check out Nocturnality for all your night vision and training needs at:  https://www.nocturnalitygear.com/



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Innovative Targets has helped us with this match since the beginning, and I'm excited to announce Jason Agee has increased his support this year to the biggest level yet - supplying $2,400 in targetry to help us make the match flow better and do everything we can to minimize wait times while still providing interesting and challenging target presentations.

Definitely check out https://innovativetargets.net/ for any steel target needs you have! 



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I don't normally like hidden target stages in a match, but this is such a real world skill Green Berets use we can't ignore it.  The honoree for this stage is Billy Waugh, who spent most of his career finding and eliminating targets over a span of several decades - from Vietnam all the way to deploying to Afghanistan at the age of 71 (and further!).  We lost Billy in April of this year at the age of 94. Read more about him here, or from MANY different books that tell about just parts of his amazing life:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Waugh

In this stage:  Find and eliminate targets.  As in the real world, some targets will be obvious and easy to see/hit.  Some will be much more difficult.  Use all your tools to figure it out. 


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Samson Manufacturing has been a sponsor since the beginning, and Bryan Ray and Brian Vaught were instrumental in getting me "in" at Rockcastle to do this crazy thing we do the very first year.  So it is fair to say that the Briyans and Samson made RNG east of the Mississippi possible!

Not only that, but they are bringing $2,000 worth of product to the prize table this year!  Samson does so much so support the shooting sports of ALL kinds - be sure to look to them first when you need great handguards or other gear!  Check them out at:  https://www.samson-mfg.com/ 


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I am excited to announce that for the first time ever we will have a food truck onsite!  Jeremy Swofford with Red's Dinner Bell will be there all day Saturday and Sunday selling from his menu (below), and will have a special fundraising dinner menu Saturday night - part of the proceeds from that dinner will go to SFA. 



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