Last Saturday, May 12th, was the first annual Twilight Run ‘N Gun in Oklahoma. This post will be more of a recap of the event as a whole, the course & stages, and my standings after the scores were tallied. The next post will be more of a performance review.
The match was located 4 miles north and 3 miles east of Pawnee, OK, at “The Mound”, where they hold a semi-annual run & gun you may be more familiar with. The two events are put on by different people, though, so it’s not like you’re running the same event but after dark.
The course was a 1.65 mile (2.5 km) overland course that took runners along pond dams, down through creek beds, under a fence once or twice, around water, up a 15 foot incline at an above 70%+ gradient, and all through fairly rough and uneven pasture land. After you’ve finished the course, you run it again.
The path was actually pretty easy to follow. The path had been marked with these tiny LED lights the director had bought online. They were originally intended to be put inside party balloons, but in this role they gave off enough light for you to see the way, but not enough to navigate without additional lighting from a flashlight or headlamp. It was like a breadcrumb trail laid out with stars from the night sky. In case you couldn’t tell, I was impressed.
There were 5 stages. The first was before you even started your run. The concept is that everyone shoots stage 1 and then begin running, hitting the remaining 4 stages as you come to them. With a twist. Even numbered runners (I was #20) shot stages 2 and 4 on their first lap, hitting stages 1 and 3 on their second lap. The odd numbered runners did the opposite. This way there wasn’t just a huge pileup of people at stage one getting huge wait times right at the beginning and a monotonous second half devoid of triggers. This scheme actually worked very well.
The starting stage was a standard rifle/pistol action shooting stage. You start in a start box on the right side and put 2 rifle rounds on a paper target about 10 yards out, followed by single hits on small steel gongs at about 50 yards. Run across the bay, dumping your mag, and shoot your single chambered round at another steel 50 yard target (this “last chance” shot idea is a new one for me and was featured on another stage). You dump your empty rifle and engage static steel and paper with your pistol, on both sides, making your way up the bay as you go. Par time was 120 seconds. There was about 8 or 9 pistol targets on each side. I made it about halfway through the pistol portion when I timed out. Great way to start off the night!
Stage 1, or “The Highwayman”, was a vehicle ambush scenario. Five man-sized steel were placed at unknown distances, but seemed to be from about 50 yards to about 35 or 40. From the cab of a truck, shoot five steel targets one time, and de-ass the vehicle. Re-enage the 5 steel, one shot each, from over the bed. Re-enage each steel a final time from underneath the truck. Par time about 150 seconds. I had 0.10 seconds remaining.
Stage 2, or “The Jungle”. At the beginning there are 4 rifle steel about 40-60 yards out. Sling your rifle and transition to pistol, shooting steel targets at various ranges as you move right of the starting position. The shooter and the targets are surrounded by relatively heavy tree growth, making finding and shooting all the targets a bit of a challenge. Also, the course takes the shooter basically into a dry creek bed, meaning as you’re going stage-right and hunting for targets in the darkness, you’re also navigating a pretty steep and rocky decline of about 12 linear feet. Not sure of par time, moving with a purpose kept me from timing out.
Stage 3, “Shoot, Move” was similar to stage 2. You start out with your rifle in your hands, headlamp off. At the beep, you activate your rifle light and engage 4 rifle targets about 60 or 70 yards away that were up-to-now hidden by darkness. After engaging the 4th rifle target, safe the rifle and drop the mag. Run about 15 yards and “last chance shot” another rifle target around 20 yards out, sling the rifle and draw your pistol. Moving forward and to the left, find and engage a paper target almost as you start to move, another paper target 10 feet later, and a final array of paper & steel another 20 feet down the line at the end of the stage. I totally missed the first paper target on my run.
Stage 4, “Rifle Down” was at the end of the course. It was a standard style USPSA or UML course. You start off with a rifle engaging steel at the back of the bay (30 yards, maybe), safe & dump the rifle. Run ~15 feet to the beginning of an array of walls and draw your pistol. The left side has paper and steel targets set up requiring you to move around to engage them all. The right side is a mirror of the left. At the end, there is a standard 6-target plate rack set up. Pretty standard stuff.
Scoring was a combination of stage times and run time, though I’m not sure how those two were meshed into a final ranking.
I finished 9th of 14 in 2-Gun, 13 of 22 overall, with 61.77% of the winner’s score.
I’ll breakdown how my gear performed, how I performed, and my ranking in my next post.