Inside the Hawkeye Trekker

The basic premise of the Tekker is a combination of dynamic shooting skills and cross country endurance racing. Competitors will compete on a ¾ mile course composed of 4 shooting stations while carrying all of their gear. Each station will involve either a rifle or a pistol. At each station competitors will have a very narrow window of time to engage targets and accrue points. Once their score is recorded, shooters are free to proceed to the next station at a pace of their choosing. They will shoot that stage in the order that they arrive, and so on and so forth. Shooters will have 2 hours to make as many laps and accrue as many points as possible.

There are two basic strategic decisions a participant will need to make. The first choice is their running pace. There is a limited window of time in which to score points; the faster one goes, the more opportunities they will have to score points. Arriving winded or tried to a stage may be detrimental to one’s shooting ability and the target values descend as the race goes on, so there is validity to a conservative pace as well. The other choice is how much to carry equipment, namely ammo, to carry along. There are no pit stops of caches allowed, so participants must carry everything they need on or about their person and they may not abandon anything. For prospective, the average action rifle weighs 7-10 pounds, pistols weigh roughly 2 pounds, and a standard loaded 30 round rifle magazine 1 pound. The more laps a participant wishes to do, the more they must carry, and the more weighed down they will be on the cross country portion of the event.

All targets on the course start at 25 points and descend in value with each lap. Tortoise and hare strategies are both viable options. Does one set a goal and carry just enough to get by or do they come loaded for bear and pound out as many laps as they possibly can? The course is doable for all, but potentially as challenging as a one chooses to make it.


My strategy is probably somewhat in the middle of the road aggression wise. I don’t plan to keep pace with the hardcore runners, but an aggressive pace without being too winded is what I’m after. I’m going to sling my rifle, holster my pistol in a basic kydex pancake rig, and use a fairly basic day-hike sized backpack to carry the rest of my equipment. I will probably go fairly heavy on ammunition so as not to run out, but only carry a few magazines and top off on the move between stages. Ammunition will be in small cardboard boxes so I can consolidate and lighten the load as the match progresses.

Reaching into my military roots, while utilizing new strategies I’ll be playing off my strengths, focusing on honed endurance.  I’ve chosen to prepare for the Trekker ensuring that it does not tire me out by keeping weight off my hips, and tailoring gear to reduce bounce while running.  I’ll be able to keep up a steady pace to complete as many laps as possible in the time limit.  To outlast shooters more experienced in competitions, I’ll carry my load-out on a plate carrier/chest rig, with ultra-light plates to create a semi-rigid structure which will hold a few magazines, water, snacks (gummy bears, of course), and a small pouch with loose ammo.  The chest rig will help keep my core warm, so I can wear lighter, less restrictive clothing.  Finally, my rifle will be debuting a new scabbard-like carry method, complemented with a sling.  More laps means more points, and this is my aim.



I am running this match to test my endurance as much or more than my shooting. My goal is to complete more than 5 laps in the time allotted. Because of this I am selecting gear that is a departure from my normal 3-Gun Setup. I will be using my trusty STI Edge on my right hip without the drop offset. This should cut down on some of the bouncing around. I will also be running a couple pistol mags on my left hip to provide a little balance. The remainder of my 180 rounds per gun  (6 rifle mags, 6 pistol mags and a couple loose boxes) will be secured in a chest rig with a small supply of food and water. I selected the chest rig option for 2 reasons. First, it allows me to carry a lot of ammunition with little or no conflict to locomotion. Second, I can easily get to my gear regardless of match day clothing – it is December in Minnesota after all.