The Wolverine 5K – A Red Dawn Themed Tactical Race

    Probably my favorite thing about the gun community as a whole is the way we can all come together and create some really fun events. A few months ago I heard about a local race in mid-Michigan that incorporates running, tactical shooting and long distance shooting to create a gun competition that’s very unique. Unfortunately, I found out too late and the race was already sold out but went up to Lake City, Michigan to check things out. I wanted to support a few buddies who were on a few of the competing teams. Let’s take a look at what the Wolverine 5K is all about and why it was started.

    The Idea Behind The Wolverine 5K

    There are a ton of different 5Ks out there from the color guard all the way to beer chugging 5Ks. Out of all the ideas behind a 5K, there hasn’t been a ton of races with the 2A community in mind. Mud runner is probably the closest thing, but it still isn’t firearms-related by any means. The folks at Marksmanship Training Center in Lake City, Michigan looked at their growing facility as a good place to start a race to attract various shooters from around the midwest. There are a number of different skillsets needed to perform well. When looking at all the different skills needed to do well in the race, the overall idea of Red Dawn and being a Wolverine came to mind. Over the years the race has grown and adapted slightly but remains at its core almost the same.

    The Different Sections Of The Race

    The race is broken down into three different sections that last throughout the day. The first and arguably hardest part of the race is the Land Navigation course where teams have to use MGRS maps and plot the most effective course to the finish while using an 8 digit grid. To add a twist, teams must collect recon on various points in the wooded area, from tanks to RPGs and weapon stashes then collect data from these points to gather intel on their specific target for the next stage. Once the land navigation section is done, teams will typically head to the long-range shooting stage. At the long-range stage, shooters will have to engage targets at 300, 600, and 1,000 yards. The targets they engaged are provided from the information or “intel” they learn from the land navigation course.

    If that was the whole course, it would take teams a few hours to complete but the Wolverine 5K kicks it up another level with 7 shooting stages afterwards to complete. The courses included stages around a vehicle, shoot house, using a flame thrower and a high-intensity circuit course that wore guys out almost immediately. I thought it was cool that various stages incorporated other skills like medical and knife throwing to add a different dynamic.

    My Experience At The Race

    I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when I first arrived to the race but after chatting with a few of the teams and staff members, I was rather surprised. There were people from all walks of life from doctors to plumbers participating in the event. It was cool to see the various types of guns and gear from guys running around with underfolder AKs to the guys with $10,000 custom-built bolt actions. Everyone seemed to have a variety of gear but all were excited about the day.

    One of my favorite things about the gun community as a whole is their shared excitement for shooting sports and the overall comradery that everyone has towards a shared interest. There were well over 100 people at the event and everyone was extremely nice and eager to talk about the various stages. Lately, we have had so much negativity and division it was really nice to have an event where everyone was excited and friendly towards each other. I would love this to become a growing trend with races like this and the tactical games growing in popularity.

    Seeing everyone from different walks of life come together for an event was one of the coolest things I have seen in a while. Let me know what you guys think of races like this and if its something that could gain popularity. I’m curious how many of you would be interested in participating in a race where shooting and skills are needed so let me know in the comments below. If you have questions feel free to contact me on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there.

    I’m an avid shooter and love educating whether it’s at my job or in the shooting community. I’m an average joe that really loves talking with other people about firearms and other passions.
    I’m active on Instagram on @fridgeoperator.