I’ve started writing some reviews for BibRave.com and below is my review copied from that site starting with OVERALL. A few additional pictures have been added towards the beginning which are not found on the BibRave review.
OVERALL – This is a great race and run very well by the race directors. Starting at midnight the race is unique and can pose an extra challenge if you are traveling a long way to get there. For me, my Friday started out at 4:30 in the morning …with a short 1 mile run to keep up a running streak and after a 6 hour drive to my hotel in Cookesville, TN my attempts to get even a couple hours sleep before the race did not happen. The packet pick up is from 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. that Friday night with the race starting at midnight. by the time I finished the run I’d been up well over 24 hours straight. Getting there a day earlier may be something to consider if traveling a great distance.
The Loonies race is limited to 300 people and a little over an hour East, South/East of Nashville, TN. I signed up rather late since I was scrambling to qualify as a Marathon Maniac so Cookesville, TN was the closest hotel I could get. I stayed at a Best Western/Thunderbird Inn and was very happy with the hotel. The drive was a pretty short 30 minutes to the start of the race.
T-SHIRT/SWAG – Very high quality. Such high quality that I almost felt as if I was relation to a rich little family. Super nice tech t-shirt and a Loonies hat which is very nice and not something usually received. The medal is probably my favorite ever, 2nd only perhaps to the first marathon medal ever received some two plus decades ago.
AID STATIONS – After the initial 1.2 mile loop, there were five 5 mile loops with 3 aid stations which all featured water and gatorade. If you want or need GU, you’ll need to bring your own. I finished towards the end and there were about 30 pizzas ready & waiting for consumption as well as an ample amount of snacks and typical post race food.
COURSE SCENERY – The course is ran starting at midnight so there isn’t too much to see other than the dark lit town of Livingston, TN which isn’t so bad. Along the start of the race we run by each lap there is a row of vehicles – tents, RV’s and people cheering on their loved ones running in the race and it’s always fun to get a constant influx of cheers and applause every lap. That is a benefit of lap structured marathons. With more typical long route marathons you may see a bunch of support at the beginning and the end but you’re pretty much solo in the distant miles.
Another interesting part of the course was the starting point and which had a little loop to run and the farthest portion of the race was a little loop and those two loops were connected by a couple shared miles where you could see other races in an out and back type fashion. Think of two circles connected by a line, that was the course 🙂
EXPO QUALITY – No expo.
ELEVATION DIFFICULTY – One short area of the race had a bit of a hill but, after a couple laps you barely notice it anymore. Mostly flat terrain. There were 6 people in the 2015 race who qualified for Boston as the race distance is certified.
PARKING/ACCESS – Very easy and ample parking for all – runners and spectators alike.
RACE MANAGEMENT – High Quality. Not only was my experience positive for this 4th Annual race but everybody else I talked with who had run in previous years all had positive comments.
My original BibRave review may be found at http://www.bibrave.com/races/loonies-midnight-marathon#.Va1wq_m6fkg (link opens in new window)