WACO TACTICAL FITNESS BIATHLON
The WTF Biathlon is a race in the tradition of the Pecos Run 'n Gun and Zombie Destruction Biathlon, where body, mind, marksmanship and gear are tested (vigorously) in field conditions. The course is about 5 miles long, with various obstacles and 6 to 8 shooting stations. The terrain is very challenging and the obstacles are physically demanding. Shooting distances range from up close and personal out to about 500 yards. Much of the shooting is in unusual positions and at unknown distances. Range estimation and other problem-solving skills will definitely come into play. Participants must be prepared to handle some physical exertion and be familiar with their firearms’ operation.
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. This event is being hosted by very generous individuals on their private property -- all participants must show strict respect for the owners and their property.
All firearms, ammo, water and other equipment must be carried from start to finish throughout the course. Obviously, shooters will consume or expend water and ammo along the way, so be sure to bring sufficient quantities of both.
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! Run times and aggregate shooting scores will be equally weighted in determining each participant's final score and rank. Run order will be more or less random within each Heat. We will try to be accommodating to participants who wish to share firearms or equipment, or to those who wish to run together (subject to our Group Policy).
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 round count from the Course of Fire is recommended), and eye/ear protection. Everything else is up to each participant. If somebody wants to run the course wearing body armor and carrying a 26 pound battle rifle with bull barrel, scope, rangefinder, bipod, lights, lasers, disco ball and fuzzy dice on it, they are welcome to do so. Just remember, ounces equal pounds and pounds equal pain.
Shooters may use any type of gear they want to carry their equipment, the only requirement being that pistols must be carried in a secure holster that covers the trigger guard 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.
Ammo must be standard range-type FMJ or similar; no tracers or armor piercing bullets that have a penetrator core. M855, SS109, and any similar steel core ammo, any ammo with green or black paint on the tip, or any ammo with bullets that will stick to a magnet is not allowed. We reserve the right to check ammo at the start of the race and at any point during the race. Violators will be kicked off the course.
Ammunition must be factory-loaded; no home-made reloads. Pistols must fire pistol cartridges.
Our targets are AR500 steel on lightweight target stands. We cannot allow any calibers or ammo that will pierce, bend, dent, destroy, disable, knock down or otherwise disrupt the targets. 223, 5.56, 308, 30-06, 6.8 SPC, 7.62x39 6.5 Grendel and 300 Blackout are all good. (If you are shooting 30 cal, we do ask that you stay on the light-weight side of the bullet range. The heavy ones tend to knock down the target stands, which causes delays.) Anything else requires prior written permission. We will do our best to accommodate special requests.
All participants are expected to comply with basic firearm safety at all times. Failure to follow safety protocols will not be tolerated and will result in Biathlon disqualification. 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. Rifles 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. However, loaded handguns must remain securely in a 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, and the trigger finger must be indexed outside of the trigger guard. Rifles must be placed on SAFE during movement.
Shooters will report to the Crawford Community Center at Tonkawa Park 45 minutes prior to the start of their Heat. Check-in times are 7:15am, 9:15am, 11:15am and 1:15pm. There will be a registration table near the starting line. Here, shooters will check in and be assigned an approximate start time and an identification number. This number and the participant's name will be written on a score card, which must be carried throughout the course. We will review the rules, procedures, and course of fire immediately following check-in. Runners will be sent out in uniform intervals within each Heat. Be sure to show up on time and ready to go at your appointed check-in, or your spot will be given to someone on the standby list.
When arriving at a shooting stage, the shooter will be required to show the RO that his rifle has an empty mag well and empty chamber. Participants who arrive at a stage with a mag in their rifle or a round in the rifle's chamber will be immediately disqualified and both the round and the participant will be ejected. Shooters are NOT required to leave their rifle’s bolt open during the run between stages; this is actually discouraged, as it will allow dirt to accumulate inside the action. There will be ample opportunity for this to happen on the course. Shooters should have their score cards ready and in-hand when approaching a shooting stage.
After showing a clear rifle, the participant will activate a stopwatch, whether there are other competitors waiting to shoot or not, and give both the score card and stopwatch to the RO. The RO will put these down together, so that the stopwatch can't accidentally be bumped or stopped during the shooting stage. The stopwatch will continue to run during the entire time on stage, including time spent waiting to shoot and during the actual shooting. The RO will record the Shoot Time (tracked separately by another RO) and the Stage Time before handing the score card and stopwatch back to the competitor. Total time spent at shooting stages subtracted off the participant’s run time when his run score is calculated. WTF will be providing stopwatches at the Start line. However, we highly recommend that competitors have a backup stopwatch available.
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 marked zone from which the shooter must fire -- either a particular hole in a barricade that he must shoot through, or a marked zone on the ground. Every part of the shooter's body and equipment that touches the ground must remain inside of the marked zone when shooting. Hits made from outside the designated area will not count toward completion of the course of fire. The RO/spotter will call out all hits; if the RO/spotter does not shout "Hit" it is not a hit and the shooter must continue to engage the current target until he makes the required number of hits.
If for any reason the “cease fire” command is given, the shooter must immediately cease fire, holster his handgun, and/or unload his rifle. The shooter will do likewise when he completes a stage or times out.
Every shooter must show the RO that his rifle has an empty mag well and empty chamber before leaving each stage. The RO will record the shooting time for the stage on the scorecard. Make sure you get your card back from the RO before leaving the stage, and keep it in a secure place between stages. If shooters lose their score cards, it is difficult and time-consuming for the match director to track down shooting and wait times from the ROs at all the stages. It at the match director's discretion whether to go through this effort or to disqualify the participant, depending on how things are going with the data entry and how many ROs have returned their backup sheets.
After the last runner has crossed the finish line, we will calculate the results. The ROs will have run the course the day before and will be scored along with all the other contestants. The winners will be announced, awards will be given out, and we will distribute the prizes contributed by our sponsors.
Any "normal" malfunctions that occur during a shooting stage must be cleared by the shooter on the clock. This includes stovepipes, failures to feed, failures to fire, failures to return to battery, failures to extract, etc. If a firearm is rendered inoperable or unsafe and cannot be cleared on the clock (examples include squib rounds, stuck rounds or cases that will not come out via the mortar method, broken firing pin, loose gas block, etc.), the shooter may choose one of the options below. These options are only applicable in "unsafe or inoperable" situations and do not include issues with optics becoming lose or losing zero, broken slings, broken or stuck collapsible stocks, lose handguards, bad magazines, lost ammo, or any other circumstance in which the firearm can be safely discharged.
1. DNF the stage and fix the issue on the run clock (no wait time) with whatever tools the shooter has on-hand. (The RO is not your gunsmith.) After the issue has been resolved, the shooter may continue to complete the rest of the course.
2. Return to the start of the course, repair or replace the firearm and begin the race all over again from the beginning, at the earliest possible time. The shooter will re-shoot any stages previously encountered and the worse of the two scores will count for scoring on any stages shot twice (before the stage at which the malfunction occurred). Permission to do this is at the discretion of the match director and will depend on how much daylight is left and how many runners still need to get on the course.
3. Finish the rest of the course, and take a DNF on any stages that would call for the use of the malfunctioning firearm.
Each shooting stage will be scored on a curve, where the fastest finisher will receive a score of 100 and the slowest will receive a 0. Scores in between will be based on the difference between each participant's time and the fastest time. In addition, the first 3 finishers in each shooting stage will be awarded bonus points of 5 for first place, 3 for second, and 2 for third. Every shooting stage will have a time limit. If a shooter does not complete the stage under the time limit, he will receive a DNF (Did Not Finish) for that stage. Since we are trying to replicate a potential survival situation, failing to finish a stage represents a catastrophic outcome, and thus a DNF penalty score of -25 will be applied to that stage.
There will be obstacles and other challenges on the trail between shooting stages. These must be completed or a run-time penalty of 15 minutes will be applied for each obstacle that a participant fails to complete. Though there is no time limit for the run, scoring will be cut off at the third quartile (the fastest 75% of participants). Those who complete the course in a longer time will receive a run score of zero; those above will be scored on a curve of 0 to 100 points. Based on the results from previous Biathlons, the cutoff time should be roughly 160 minutes, which is about double the fastest running time.
Each participant's run score and average shooting score will be equally weighted in determining the final scores and rankings.
This is no walk in the park. The terrain is very challenging, and the obstacles will test your balance, coordination and upper-body strength. If you can't do a few pull-ups, scramble up and down rough/rocky hills and push through wooded areas, some of the obstacles will be difficult to overcome. Also, the weather may be hot, and you need to be aware of over-exertion. Be sure to bring an appropriate amount of water. Your health is your responsibility; please manage your limitations accordingly and walk/hydrate as needed.
Attendees may park at the Crawford Community Center. Registration will take place there, which is also where the trail begins and ends. Camping is allowed the night before the run. There will be people on site all day Friday, as the ROs will be running the course. Food and beverages may be available in the Community Center, and stores and restaurants are a just a few minutes away in Crawford. Tent/RV Camping is available across the road from the Crawford Community Center, at the Tonkawa Park RV area. The cost is $10/night for tents and $27/night for RVs. Cash can be deposited in the drop box at the Crawford City Hall building. They have RV hookups, and RV owners will have to fill out a registration form. The codes to the gate and to the bathroom/shower are subject to change. Be sure to ask for these when you call to make your reservation. Any questions, please call them at 254-486-2125.
How to Sign Up:
The entry fee is $110 and includes a lunch voucher. Registration is handled through EventBrite, which charges an additional fee of a few bucks per ticket. To register, click on the "REGISTER" button at the top menu of this website. Remember, space is limited and our events tend to sell out quickly. Be sure to get your ticket as soon as possible when we open up registration.
A half refund, minus Eventbrite fees, will be given until the first day of the month of the race. No refund will be given after that. To cancel, contact us by e-mail at WacoTacticalFitness@gmail.com.