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2024 Legion Memorial Run N Gun: August 31 - Sept 1, Dead Zero Shooting Park, 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/1073318947348868 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 2024 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.  
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 “Operator” 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 this is a popular weekend there 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 Memorial Run N Gun is $175 for the 5k (Saturday) or $225 for the 10k (Sunday) - which includes a match t-shirt.  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 by Lisa & Ansley Stennett
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If you have no idea what this event is about (where have you been????), take 5 minutes to watch last year's promo video to get a very harried and rushed glimpse of what we're all about:  


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One of MANY reasons it's hard to be in the 5th Special Forces Group is how much time you have to be away from your family.  Between frequent deployments and a constant training schedule (frequently sent elsewhere too) when they are "home", the time they spend with family is far too little.  And for this match we yet again ask them to leave their families at home to come spend all day (or weekend) with us to do cool things.  They love the cool things, but hate to leave their families yet again.

So this year, the guys really want to figure out a way to include the families in the weekend and create a fun and welcoming experience for all.  Nothing is in stone yet, but civilian families are welcome and encouraged to attend as well.  Some ideas being tossed around so far:

- Bouncy house or water slide

- Various bushcraft skills stations for the older kids

- Movie night with campfire and marshmallow roasting

- Airsoft course shooting balloons as targets 

- "Day camp" atmosphere where mom/dad could drop the kids to be fully supervised and very much entertained while they go run the course

- Camping in (possibly donated) tents to keep all the families together and sharing a great experience

- Who knows what else?

So I have three requests with this post:

1.  Plan to bring your families

2.  Post up some good ideas that would entertain kids (and spouses?) of all ages and be feasible alongside the match

3.  Volunteer to help pull this off (or even lead the charge).  Our normal day staff and Match Directors can't reasonably do this well (or at all?) while putting on the match itself.  We need some great help to work this side of things, but it very well could mean you won't be able to run the race yourself if you do so.  




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Registration will open on Saturday, June 8th at 10:00am Central Time. For the first time ever, we will take full payment at the time of registration. If I can get it to work right, you will also sign a waiver online when you register. So this will take a little more time and effort than it has in the past - which means it might not sell out in 30 seconds again. Or it might. Plan to be near a computer right at that time to be sure you get in. If you don't get in, be sure to get on the waitlist ASAP as those slots will be given out in the order you sign up. And as always, we're holding several slots for 5th Group personnel and they will be given to civilians 2 weeks before match day if there are any left by then.

The price for both matches is $25 higher than last year ($175 for the 5k and $225 for the 10k), but a match t-shirt is INCLUDED for that price - so essentially the price is the same as last year if you combine the two.

Full refunds will be given (minus the 3% credit card processing fee we don't want SFA to eat) from now until 30 days before match day upon cancellation/withdrawal. Between 30 days and 14 days prior to match day, a 50% refund will be given. From 14 days prior to match day, NO REFUND will be given if you withdraw from the match. Be sure you can come before you sign up.

Lastly - there are two "discount" check boxes at the bottom of the registration form, just before you enter your credit card number. One is for active or retired 5th Group personnel, who get in for 1/2 price. The other is for Staff, who I charged $1 so I could test the online payment system. IF YOU ARE NOT EITHER OF THESE THINGS AND YOU TAKE A DISCOUNT WITHOUT HAVING EARNED IT, I WILL DELETE YOUR ENTRY AND KEEP YOUR MONEY FOR SFA. "Honor" is a word that has a strong meaning at this match and with these folks, and we take it seriously here. Do not select either of these discount boxes unless you are confirmed Staff or 5SFG.

Here is the link for the 5k registration: https://practiscore.com/5k-legion-memorial-run-n-gun-2024/register

Here is the link for the 10k registration: https://practiscore.com/10k-legion-memorial-run-n-gun-2024/register

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  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

For one stage this year we are honoring three people:  


Senior Chief Petty Officer Shannon Kent 

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan R. Farmer (5SFG)

Scott A. Wirtz (former Navy SEAL)


All three were killed by a suicide bomber at 12:38 local time in Manbij, Syria, on January 16, 2019.


We have honored Jon Farmer at previous matches, but as the details of his story came out over the last few years we thought it appropriate to also honor Shannon and Scotty alongside him with a stage.  Never forget. 



Edited by Matt in TN
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I am excited and not at all surprised to share that Alan's Arsenal LLC is returning as a title sponsor.  Pete Jones has been with us from the beginning, and is not only a former 5th Group soldier with direct ties to many of the men we honor, but goes out of his way to help us make this happen every year.


If you need any kind of gun parts or accessories, be sure to check with him first here:  https://alansarsenal.3dcartstores.com/ 



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I am proud to announce we are honoring SFC Earl F. Burke with a stage this year.  You might be badass, but you will never be "lounging in the weeds in Tiger Stripe camo with a cigar and an A1" badass like this guy was!


Silver Star


Service: Army

Rank: Sergeant First Class

Division: 1st Special Forces


Headquarters, U.S. Army Vietnam, General Orders No. 2129 (May 8, 1968)



The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 8, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Sergeant First Class Earl F. Burke (ASN: RA-13290409), United States Army, for gallantry in action while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. Sergeant First Class Burke distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 6 and 7 February 1968, while serving with Detachment A-101, Company C, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, during an attack on the Lang Vei camp. Enemy forces launched a coordinated late night tank and ground attack on the compound. Sergeant Burke braved devastating fire to help deliver a highly effective mortar barrage on the attackers. North Vietnamese tanks placed fierce fire on the manned outer defensive positions and overran the perimeter. Seeing that his mortar was ineffective because of its close proximity to the hostile armor, he secured several anti-tank weapons, closed to point blank range with the tanks, and destroyed one with ravaging fire before expending his ammunition. He then withdrew to a preplanned defensive position and continued his fierce fight. Sergeant First Class Burke's gallantry in action was in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.



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I am happy (and again, not surprised) to share that Spike's Tactical is returning as a title sponsor, and I can't wait to see whatever beautiful rifles they donate to the prize table this year!  Big thanks to Cole Leleux for his long-time support - be sure to look to Spike's if you are in the market for "the finest AR-15s on the planet"!





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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm thrilled to announce that Tomahawk Strategic Solutions is returning this year as a Stage Sponsor.  But even more exciting to me personally, is that one of their Sr VP's, Jamie Korenoski (retired CWO5 at 5SFG), has joined our Board to help make our matches even better moving forward!


Tomahawk offers training and advisory services to corporate and law enforcement teams in service of our mission to create safer, more secure communities. Our programs bring decades of experience in managing crisis situations to you. Whether you’re a corporate front-desk manager or an armed SWAT officer, our training can prepare you for an emergency.





  • Like 1
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One stage this year will honor SSG Aaron N. Holleyman.  Aaron was an 18D (Medical Sergeant) from Glasgow, MT, and was killed when his vehicle hit an IED in Khutayiah, Iraq on August 30, 2004.

Holleyman's father said his son had suffered some hearing loss during an earlier incident and would not have been required to go back to Iraq but had volunteered.  He had just returned to Iraq in July after being stateside for treatment of injuries received earlier in Iraq. He received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his service.

“He had two close calls last year,” Sylvia Carpenter (grandmother) said.  In 2003, Holleyman was in a vehicle accident in Iraq and saved the life of one of the soldiers. He also was injured in a separate accident, she said.

“Aaron loved what he was doing. It really was close to his heart,” she said. “He felt proud to be doing what he was doing. From the way everything has happened and his attitude, he’s just our hero.”

According to the memorial service booklet that told Holleyman’s life story, he participated in more than 100 combat missions in western Iraq. On one occasion, he was wounded along with two other soldiers, but he treated his injured comrades before himself, the pamphlet said.

Staff Sgt. Joe Briscoe, who was injured while in Iraq and lost part of his right arm during a rocket-propelled grenade attack, talked about meeting Holleyman on Oct. 31, 2003:  “I was on a stretcher, and I looked up and saw Aaron,” Briscoe said during the memorial service. “He assured me everything was going to be OK. You wouldn’t believe what that meant to me.”  Briscoe said when he was taken on a medevac helicopter, Holleyman “never left my side and stayed with me the whole time. He always had a smile and respect for a fellow team member.”

Holleyman was the father of three children, ages 5, 3 and 1.




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One stage this year will honor SSG Ayman A. Taha, who was killed in an explosion December 30, 2005 while preparing to dispose of enemy munitions discovered near Balad, Iraq.


Taha was born in Sudan and entered the Army in August 2002 under the 18X program. This program allows selected individuals to enlist directly for Special Forces Training as a result of preexisting unique skills. He was an Arabic speaker (he actually spoke 5 languages).

He received his bachelor’s degree in economics at the University of California at Berkley. He then studied at UMass, where he earned his master’s degree in economics in 2002. With the exception of writing his thesis, Taha was near completion of his PhD in economics at the University.

Taha was a devout Muslim who strongly believed in the message of Islam, which focuses on believing in God and performing good deeds.  “He strongly agreed that what they were doing is good and that they were helping people in the Middle East,” Ayman’s father told the Washington Post.

While serving, Taha received several awards, including the National Defense Service Medal, the NCO Professional Development Ribbon with Numeral Two Device, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Parachutists Badge and the Special Forces Tab.

Posthumously, he has been awarded the Bronze Star Medal, a Purple Heart, The Meritorious Service Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge, according to the United States Army Special Operation Command News Service.

Taha is survived by his wife Geraldine and his daughter Sommer of Clarksville, Tenn.; his parents, Abdel-Rahman and Amal Taha of Vienna, Va.; and his sisters, Rabah and Lubna, also of Clarksville, Tenn. 



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