The 3GN South Regional Championship & Long Range Match was 3GN’s biggest event yet, challenging all involved, but what a weekend it was!
Finally back home from the 3GN South Regional Championship, with gear unpacked and most of the mud washed out and off of of my worldly range possessions, and I’m taking stock of the event we just completed. Watching the videos posted online by 3GN Members, seeing the comments in the 3-Gun Nation Members Group on Facebook, and its obvious there’s a tremendous amount of positive feedback coming in – shooters really enjoyed the matches at Arena Training Facility.
As we get into our AARs, look to improve, and plan for the next one, here’s three big takeaways I have from the 3GN South Regional Championship & Long Range Match.
3GN Knows Big 3-Gun
We came into Georgia with a mission: Go Big. Tired of being labeled a bay match, though that was mostly our own doing in years past, we loaded up the trailer for Arena with the goal of putting on a match that would feel more Outlaw than traditional 3GN. We, too, were a little bored with the same old bay stages we had been doing, so it was time to make a change. And I couldn’t be happier with the result.
With a round count around 500, Larry Goedhart, Tennille Chidester, Chris Kanel, Tobin Babcock, Ryan Wiggins and the rest of the crew went to work, forcing competitors through tunnels, a shoot house and jungle run, over berms and across what in effect became MILES of natural terrain. Yes, I said miles.
And I got the proof. I jumped in and ran several squads of shooters as an R.O. on both Saturday and Sunday, helping out our staff where needed to keep things moving. On Saturday, my phone logged 9.4 miles, with another 7.9 on Sunday. That means our staff, the amazing crew that never came off stages, likely did around 12 miles a day by my count. And that means the shooters were likely approaching that mark as well, resetting those huge courses of fire after every shooter, before getting on the guns for an average of around 18 minutes for the match.
The stages that were in bays were massive as well, with the shoot house even producing around 75 rifle shots, as each stage required tremendous amounts of movement, lots of targets, and 240 second par times on each and every challenge.
It wasn’t the insane amount of shooting of the old MGM Ironman, nor was it quite as tough as Andy Horner’s Blue Ridge, or likely even Hard As Hell or Rock Hard. But it wasn’t even close to being a 3GN bay match either. To me, the South Regional found a really awesome sweet spot of being physically challenging while providing serious shooting challenges, yet most folks could still find some success. Oh there were timeouts to be sure, but mostly it was just a tough ass match that provided a lot of fun shooting.
If that wasn’t enough, we threw a Long Range match in there as well, and Joe Burdick, Bill Powell and Jeff Barquin delivered a match equal to our 3-Gun event. It was challenging and fun, yet provided a great opportunity for a bunch of 3-Gunners to try out long range competition for the first time. Add in Todd VanLangden’s class, and now you really have a recipe to grow a new discipline for 3GN, one we know a lot of our members are really going to enjoy.
3GN’s Staff is On Point
So to pull off an event such as this, you have to employ an amazing group of individuals. 3GN is lucky in that regard, as after some trials and tribulations of late, we’ve finally got a crew together that is on mission, speaking and acting in one voice. From match director, to range master to administration, this crew, to my amazement at times, truly cares about growing the sport and delivering a fun-filled shooting event to our members.
Aside from the core group, the range officers that support us are the real pistons in the 3GN engine. Tobin Babcock, JB Creech, Rob Hall, Leroy Garcia, Chris Wiesemann, Anthony Torti, Adolphus Jones, Ed Grissom, Justin Martin, Lee Biegert, Tom Butscher, Jody Tippet, Steve Lackley, Jeff Barquin and Bill Powell were tremendous. Heat, bugs, rain, mud and miles, they conquered it all last weekend, all the while maintaining the most professional demeanor and positive attitude.
How can you ever repay such devotion to the sport, 3GN and our competitors? You can’t; you never could. But our most sincere thanks are offered humbly to this amazing crew.
There’s no way on earth we could have ever pulled off this event with out them.
3GN Matches Have Amazing Fields
Equally amazing, and it was the same in Florida, was the field of competitors. It’s not like this event was perfect. The logistics between the two big matches needs to improve, and it will. Stages can always be better, the event can run smoother. The bugs for sure could have been less, and the weather a little better.
And I say this because the match was really a grind, physically tough and demanding. The sun was hot, until it was raining, which turned the bays into much tougher sledding, making the course ever more difficult.
But the field didn’t complain. Much like the R.O. staff, the mood was light, the shooting was outstanding, and the weekend was full of nothing but fun.
And everyone was rewarded by Tom Fuller’s entertainment, Armageddon Gear’s barbecue, beer and prizes, an AMU slow dance, a great prize table, and what was ultimately the perfect ending to an outstanding 3GN weekend.
It was one helluva weekend, and all of us here at 3GN can’t wait to do it again in September at the 3GN Midwest Regional Championship.