Lonestar Armory Run and Gun (Biathlon)

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equin
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Re: Lonestar Armory Run and Gun (Biathlon)

#16

Post by equin » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:59 pm

Thanks for the report ammoboy.

SQLGeek, I recently found out about them, too. I’m not really into running or jogging, but training for an event like this was actually fun. Most I’ve ever run was a 5K in my younger years, but I was able to work my way up to a slow jog for about 5 or so miles with 20-25 lbs in my backpack. I had lost weight and felt good. My shooting skills, however, still need improvement, though. Definitely want to try one of these events.
Ed


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Re: Lonestar Armory Run and Gun (Biathlon)

#17

Post by ammoboy2 » Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:29 pm

the next event is the sons of the desert in late march near Freer, TX It is probably sold out I do not know since I had a prior engagement anyway.

the WacoTactical Fitness Biathlon is in late april and sold out for the saturday run, there maybe tickets for the sprint which is just 2.5 miles on sunday. the next Lone Star Armory Run & Gun is in June and tickets are on sale for both saturday and sunday.

There are your near term options, enjoy.


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Re: Lonestar Armory Run and Gun (Biathlon)

#18

Post by equin » Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:59 pm

Finally got to do one of these - the what the heck Biathlon near Waco, TX! What an awesome experience. Due to the massive amount of rains and flooding we’ve had in Texas, though, the event course was a mud-slogged mess. I won’t belabor anyone with a description of all the stages, as that should already be on their website (wtfbiathlon.com). Instead, I’ll try to post what I learned from the experience in the hopes it may help others wanting to try it, or at least wanting to try a different one under similar wet and muddy conditions.

Despite training carrying a backpack with 15-20 lbs, doing weights, push-ups and pullups and losing about 10 lbs of body weight in the process, I still wasn’t prepared! It was much harder than I thought it was going to be. Part of what I think added to my difficulty was that I had trained by jogging with 15-20 lbs of weight in a backpack. I was able to get up to 6 to 7 miles of jogging with the extra weight, even training in the rain sometimes. But for the event, I also used a battle belt with loaded mags and a pistol, with extra ammo, water and mags etc., to be carried in the backpack. I never trained with the battle belt fully loaded fearing neighbors or other folks would call the cops about a crazy guy running around with all that stuff on. Running with the loaded battle belt threw off my stride and dug a bit into my hips, making my run effort more difficult.

I completely failed the obstacle at the first stage. First obstacle required one to climb a forward slanting, A-framed, 8 to 10 ft chain link fence. Easy enough, I thought. I’ve climbed chain linked fences before. All the other competitors before me at the stage easily did it. I also trained doing pull ups with added weight on my back. Even so, I never could get over the fence! My “running” Garmont boots were slipping from the mud and could never get a foot hold or “ toe” hold in the chain link. So although I was able to get up to the top using arm strength, I couldn’t use leg strength to get up far enough to be able to swing my body up and over, especially with the weight of all my gear. Pride got the better of me, as I kept trying and trying, to no avail and exhausting me until I finally gave up and asked to take a time penalty. By then, I had used up too much time and only had little time to try to complete the shooting part of the stage, which I also failed to do. I also managed to cut my finger on the fence somehow because I was bleeding all over the place, except at the time I couldn’t tell from where. I brought a rag to wipe clean the scope and rifle in case of a mud smear, so I used that to wipe off the blood. I should’ve brought a small IFAK, though, as I later got the cut dirty with mud and muddy water throughout the remainder of the event. Lessons learned.

One of the obstacles right before stage 3 required crawling through a corrugated culvert. I had put on some cheap elbow and knee athletic wrap/braces, which worked great for this obstacle. Due to all the mud in the culvert, I tried my best to keep the muzzle free from getting a mud clot in the muzzle. I had placed a condom over it before I started, but later lost it somewhere along the course. Sure enough, I still managed to get some mud in the muzzle break cage. There were so many puddles around, though, I was able to clean most of it off in one of them. If there’s ever a next time, I’ll need to figure out what I can place over the muzzle that won’t fall off.

After the muddy culvert obstacle came the first rifle stage. While waiting at the stage, I tried to take off my slinged rifle to get to my backpack holding a cleaning rod. I was hoping to clean out or at least push out any mud that might’ve gotten in the bore. But the sling got caught in the ear plug cord around the back of my neck, pulling them off. And in so doing, the plugs got real dirty with all the mud I managed to accumulate on my body. Hoping to wipe it off with the same rag I used to wipe off the blood earlier, I discovered the rag was now a wet, muddy mess. So I pulled out some extra foam plugs I had in my pack, the expanding kind you roll in your fingers to then place in your ear canal. Except my hands and fingers were all muddy, even though I had been wearing gloves, and there was no clean, dry piece of clothing left for me to wipe off my hands. So I just stuck the dirty foam plugs in my ears and hoped for the best. What I should’ve done was place the rag in a ziploc type plastic bag and maybe pack some extra diaper wipes in a plastic bag, too. Another lesson learned when dealing with wet, muddy conditions.

Stage 5 required one to climb a tree and get in position to make some long distance shots. I began climbing and later discovered I climbed from the wrong side of the tree, making it difficult, if not impossible, to get into the “seated” position in the tree (a sawed off branch stump). By then I was semi dangling with all my gear, unnecessarily expending more energy and getting even more tired. I had to climb halfway down and start over again on the other side of the tree. By then, I used up too much time and couldn’t finish the stage within the allotted 3 minute time frame. What I should’ve done is take a little time before hand to study the tree and the best way to get to the seated position instead of just climbing straight up at the “go” command. Another lesson learned.

The last obstacle had us carry some super heavy jugs about 30 or so yards, maybe longer? I had practiced with carrying 45 lb dumbbells about 15 yards, not realizing the jugs’ actual weight and distance to carry. Maybe because I was already exhausted and carrying all my gear, but the jugs felt way heavier than 45 lbs. So for next time, I’ll practice with heavier dumbbells at longer distances.

The gear I used worked well for the most part, but there were a few minor mishaps. I had built a lower Stag Arms AR paired with a fully assembled Stag upper with a chrome-lined 16” 1:7 barrel. I installed a Burris’s TAC 30 1-4x optic and used Hornady ELD Match 73 gr .223. It’s the first and only AR I’ve ever shot, and I was surprised at how well it did despite how dirty and muddy it got and my inexperience with rifle shooting in general. My practice range only goes out to 200 yards, but I was able to hit the 500 yard gong twice, furthest I’ve ever shot in my life, and all with fogged up eye pro and mud-smeared optics I had to wipe off with a dirty finger. Can’t say enough about this setup!

I used a Blue Force Gear unpadded VCAS sling. It’s strong and held up well while dragging it across the steel culvert. But the mud and puddles I crawled through also got the adjustable tab mechanism wet and muddy, making it difficult to slide up and down to adjust. Not sure what I could’ve done to prevent that from happening or if a different type or brand of adjustable sling would’ve worked better under those conditions.

For the pistol I used a Glock 34 and Fiochi 115 gr ammo. As a relative newbie to the shooting sports, my handgun skills are poor, and the results showed at every pistol stage. I timed out at every stage pistol stage. I know I need lots more practice, but even though I missed a lot, I still had fun trying!

I used a surplus Army holster for the Glock. Not sure what it’s proper designation is, but it’s supposed to work for 1911s and Beretta 92FS fullsized guns. I read elsewhere Glock 34s also fit. It almost completely covers the whole pistol with its cover flap, which is what I wanted to protect it from the mud. In that regard, it worked really well. The Glock was surprisingly mud-free for the most part. One of its flaws, though, is the difficulty in threading it through my belt, a nylon 1.5” Uncle Mike’s belt with the metal buckle and velcro. When the belt is dry, it’s a little hard threading it through, but once wet and muddy, I guess the moisture and mud tend to slightly thicken the belt even more, making it impossible to thread through again. Reason I had to re-thread it is its other flaw. When sitting in the car stage, the metal clasps I had threaded through the belt somehow came undone, despite how difficult it is to unhook them by hand. Not sure how that happened, but definitely something to consider for next time there may be a stage where I have to draw while sitting in a car.

I also used an HSG battle belt with one of those 1.75” nylon inner belts with a cobra buckle. They worked great and held up to me scraping them across 10 to 20 yards of corrugated steel while crawling through the mud-filled culvert. On the battle belt I had a Condor ammo pouch with the little bungee cords that holds 3 30-round pmags on one side a cheap, Academy brand nylon and velcro dual pistol mag holder on the other side. They all got drug through the steel culvert and mud and held up great.

My backpack was a relatively small, Drago brand one from Academy’s “tactical bag” aisle near its firearm section. I also have a Hill People Gear Tarahumara pack I thought of using. It’s a great pack and lighter than the Drago backpack. But for whatever reason, I can’t seem to get it to fit comfortably while running with 20 lbs in it. The straps attaching to the shoulder harness kept loosening while bouncing up and down on my back with the added weight. It also doesn’t have a waist belt, which the Drago pack has, which would probably help keep it from bouncing along my lower back while running. I’ve thought of trying to jerry-rig a makeshift waist belt for it, but just haven’t gotten around to it. But for less than half the price, the Drago pack worked great and held up to the muddy mess I put it through, even if it was made in China.

In the pack, I carried extra ammo loose in some bags (think I had way too much weighing me down) and two bottles of water. With temps in the 60’s and overcast, heat stroke wasn’t a concern. But I probably should’ve carried much less ammo and maybe 2 more bottles of water.

One last thing. We were handed our own stopwatches and timecards connected to the stopwatch cord with a metal clip. Not sure when and where, but somewhere before stage 3 I lost my timecard. I should’ve placed it in my back pocket or somewhere else safer - another lesson learned. Not sure what my actual time was, considering the wait times at the stages, but being my first one with the only goal of finishing it, I’m just glad I finally did one of these. Took me about 4 hours and 10 minutes total to complete, minus whatever my wait times were. It was hard as heck and I was glad to have finally crossed the finish line, but I’m hooked and already thinking about next year!
Ed


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Re: Lonestar Armory Run and Gun (Biathlon)

#19

Post by equin » Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:26 pm

Hmm, looks like the acronym for Waco Tactical Fitness was automatically spelled out by the forum’s filter as “what the heck.” Anyway, despite the event’s name, it was actually held in Crawford, about 30 or so minutes southwest of Waco.
Ed


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Re: Lonestar Armory Run and Gun (Biathlon)

#20

Post by Mike S » Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:49 pm

Sounds like you had an awesome time, with lots of lessons learned.

Here's an option to keep obstructions out of your muzzle ( ), if you have a standard size flash suppressor. They're designed to be shot off (you can safely fire the first round & it will just blow the plastic cap off, usually in a couple pieces 20-30' to the front, so it's a one-time use if you shoot it off), but if you have the presence of mind & time (ie, waiting your turn for the stage) you can usually remove it easily. After several on/off cycles it might get a little loose, so keep an eye out for that.

ETA: you might want to keep several spares in a Ziploc inside your backpack (easily accessible, next to your time card & spare ear pro!) so you can replace it in case you shoot it off, before moving on to the next stage.


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Re: Lonestar Armory Run and Gun (Biathlon)

#21

Post by ammoboy2 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:22 pm

equin

You were not alone I could not get over the wire on stage 1. My boots had no purchase so I DNF stage 1 as well as Stage 7. i May have found your score card just before the integrety item pickup point. I turned it in to stage 3 RO but you may have already left. I recommend ziplok plastic bag for storing your score card the clip is really just at the stage to keep track of all the watches. I also carry spare plugs in a ziplok and some bandaids because the high probability of finger cuts. I in fact slicked up my left middle finger by my rifle forearm while falling down on the plywood at the bonus due to slippery mud. I suggest looking at incorporating a camelback it will help carrying the weight and is easier to access.

It was a mud fest and the energy expended was way greater than usual due to the weight of your feet with mud and unstable footing. My muscles are much sorer than usual after the event.


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Re: Lonestar Armory Run and Gun (Biathlon)

#22

Post by equin » Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:54 pm

Mike S wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:49 pm
Sounds like you had an awesome time, with lots of lessons learned.

Here's an option to keep obstructions out of your muzzle ( ), if you have a standard size flash suppressor. They're designed to be shot off (you can safely fire the first round & it will just blow the plastic cap off, usually in a couple pieces 20-30' to the front, so it's a one-time use if you shoot it off), but if you have the presence of mind & time (ie, waiting your turn for the stage) you can usually remove it easily. After several on/off cycles it might get a little loose, so keep an eye out for that.

ETA: you might want to keep several spares in a Ziploc inside your backpack (easily accessible, next to your time card & spare ear pro!) so you can replace it in case you shoot it off, before moving on to the next stage.
Excellent idea! I'm new to all this and didn't know those existed. Will try those at the next muddy event.
Ed


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Re: Lonestar Armory Run and Gun (Biathlon)

#23

Post by equin » Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:38 am

ammoboy2 wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:22 pm
equin

You were not alone I could not get over the wire on stage 1. My boots had no purchase so I DNF stage 1 as well as Stage 7. i May have found your score card just before the integrety item pickup point. I turned it in to stage 3 RO but you may have already left. I recommend ziplok plastic bag for storing your score card the clip is really just at the stage to keep track of all the watches. I also carry spare plugs in a ziplok and some bandaids because the high probability of finger cuts. I in fact slicked up my left middle finger by my rifle forearm while falling down on the plywood at the bonus due to slippery mud. I suggest looking at incorporating a camelback it will help carrying the weight and is easier to access.

It was a mud fest and the energy expended was way greater than usual due to the weight of your feet with mud and unstable footing. My muscles are much sorer than usual after the event.

Man, I feel better knowing I wasn't the only one who couldn't get over that wire. All the guys in front of me quickly and easily climbed over like it was nothing, but I think they were all wearing running shoes that probably helped them gain that crucial "toe hold." I debated between dedicated running shoes or the Garmin boots and eventually decided on the boots for better ankle support. I've busted my ankle a bunch of times and didn't want to tweak it again in the slick conditions.

Excellent advice all the way around on first aid kits, band aids, plastic bags, etc. The finger cut wasn't deep or too bad, although my wife is grossed out about it. I admit I was concerned with an infection after getting mud all in it. Lessons learned all the way around!

The mud around the bonus stage was slick and deep. The stage platform itself was slick, too. Come to think of it, the tree we had to climb was also real slick. I was afraid I was going to fall off it.

Thanks a bunch for turning in my timecard! It was right after I picked up the lego I noticed it was missing. I thought I lost it in the culvert or in one of the mud puddles by it and wasted some time looking for it in there. Lesson learned!

I hadn't thought of the added weight of the mud taking its toll, but it makes perfect sense. I even got too exhausted to do the jungle gym ladder. I just hung there and couldn't muster the strength to cross the next arm over so I humbly dropped and took the 15 minute penalty.

Was stage 7 the one where you climb up the platform and shoot through the 4 ports? I timed out on that one. In fact I timed out on all of them except stage 4. After stage 7 I somehow managed to carry the 2 extremely heavy blue jugs through the mud, though.

Anyway, I met some real nice folks at this event. Hopefully I'll get to meet you at one of these.
Ed

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Re: Lonestar Armory Run and Gun (Biathlon)

#24

Post by PriestTheRunner » Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:42 am

This is very cool! Thanks for posting.

Any links to future events?

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Re: Lonestar Armory Run and Gun (Biathlon)

#25

Post by SQLGeek » Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:42 am

Appreciate the detailed AAR. I saw some of the photos and videos on Facebook and it looked quite muddy. :shock:

I am clearly nowhere near the fitness level required to do something like this but it's something I definitely want to train for.
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Re: Lonestar Armory Run and Gun (Biathlon)

#26

Post by Paladin » Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:24 pm

Getting muddy is always fun!

Thanks for the write-up!
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Re: Lonestar Armory Run and Gun (Biathlon)

#27

Post by equin » Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:58 pm

PriestTheRunner wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:42 am
This is very cool! Thanks for posting.

Any links to future events?
Not sure when the very next one is, but here are a few links with more info:

https://www.lonestararmory.us/events/20 ... ner-usrga/

https://www.wtfbiathlon.com/biathlon


http://sotdrunandgun.com/

I’m sure there are others in Texas (Pecos and West TX Run and Guns?), just don’t know when.
Ed


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Re: Lonestar Armory Run and Gun (Biathlon)

#28

Post by equin » Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:56 pm

SQLGeek wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:42 am
Appreciate the detailed AAR. I saw some of the photos and videos on Facebook and it looked quite muddy. :shock:

I am clearly nowhere near the fitness level required to do something like this but it's something I definitely want to train for.
I didn’t think I was in that a good a shape, either, but decided to try my best to get in some semblance of fitness about two months before the event. I never felt I was ready for it, though, and the few other folks I spoke to afterwards said the same thing! I say do it! You can always walk it if you want, too.
Ed


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Re: Lonestar Armory Run and Gun (Biathlon)

#29

Post by ammoboy2 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:27 pm

I say try it, that is the only way you will know what you need to work on improving. It will keep you younger and be a motivation to loose some weight. I have improved with age. The competition level has definitely improved and made me work harder and gives me something to work on every week. Dan creates a tough course and it is designed to have at least a 20 to 30 % DNF rate on most of the stages. I consistently have two DNFs per run at the Waco TF but did not have that issue at Cresson. I am going to get to no DNFs one of these days it is always something. This past weekend was my worst showing in a couple of years.

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Re: Lonestar Armory Run and Gun (Biathlon)

#30

Post by SQLGeek » Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:20 am

Appreciate the advice and encouragement. I follow their Facebook page and some of the other run and gun pages to keep the motivation fresh. That is good to read that DNFs aren't that unexpected.
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