The Music City Distance Carnival has, for the last decade, proved to be Tennessee’s premiere track meet. In its short history, it has yielded more Tennessee All-comers records, State high school records, and National Champion- ships qualifying performances than any other track meet in the State, and has produced more sub-4 minute miles than any other track meet in the entire Southern United States.
The meet can boast the fastest mile ever recorded in Tennessee, at 3:57.16, has produced a total of nineteen sub-4 minute miles, and gave Nashville its first ever sub-4, courtesy of 2-time Olympian, Anthony Famiglietti.
What makes this event special?
The Music City Distance Carnival is unique in several ways.
1. First of all, it is an event solely devoted to distance running, which is by far the fastest growing and popular sector of the sport of track & field.
2. It is the only track meet in the southern U.S. offering prize money, with a total of $10,750 up for grabs, not including bonuses for meet records.
3. It is the only meet in the nation offering open races (for all ages and abilities) in the same event where national caliber high school, post-collegiate, and masters runners are competing.
4. The meet takes place late at night making the weather more conducive to fast running and adding to the electric atmosphere.
5. And this year, it will combine road racing and track racing with an inaugural 5K road race that will finish in the stadium just before the track action kicks off.
As well as attracting the best distance runners in Tennessee and surround- ing states, the Distance Carnival regularly draws U.S Olympians and has had among its participants runners from Canada, Kenya, Japan, Great Britain, Ire- land, Mexico, Bosnia, Finland, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, Grenada, Trinidad & Tobago, Venezuela, Ecuador, Burundi, Uganda and Congo. In the 2012 Olympics, two Music City Distance record holders were in action, and at last year’s 2013 World Championships, seven Music City Distance Carnival alums competed.
The Music City Distance Carnival ranks second to none when it comes to bringing elite runners and fans of the sport to middle Tennessee. What makes the event different and better than the marathon, though, is that everything – the races, the spectators, the interviews, the sponsors’ logos – is on and around a 400-meter oval and takes place within a tight three and a half hour schedule.
In short, a potential sponsor is getting constant coverage in front of a captive audience! The 4-minute mile barrier still captures the attention of even the most casual fan of the sport and the Music City Distance Carnival has delivered a sub-4 six of the last seven years, with a master (over 40) runner ducking under the barrier to set a world record in 2012.
In 2014, the meet will not (as it usually does) clash with the Prefontaine Classic meet in Oregon, a Nike-produced meet with a multi-million dollar budget. This means that the Distance Carnival has a golden opportunity to attract an even high caliber of athlete to the meet, but we need the help of sponsors to make that happen! We already have had most of our defending champions from 2013 commit to returning, and many of our 2012 winners too, but we have a great chance to bring in a dozen or so additional Olympic- quality runners who can help propel this event to the next level.
NEW in 2014
We are thrilled to add three new exciting components to the meet in 2014, that will both broaden the appeal of the meet, increase participation, and make it even more exciting for spectators.
Road Race: For the first time ever, we will be staging a 5K (3.1 mile) road race that finishes on the track just before the track meet starts. The race, on a USATF-certified course, will run around the Vanderbilt campus on closed roads. We project that this will bring to the event an extra 350-500 participants, most of whom will stay to watch the track meet.
Kids Races: Partnering with Nashville Youth Athletics for the first time, we will have races for elementary and middle school runners, as well as a superhero dash for kindergarteners.
The 5K road race and the Kids races make the Music City Distance Carnival a family affair in which runners of absolutely all ages and abilities can take part, even though the focus at the end of the night is on some of the nation’s fastest runners.
Beer Garden: We are currently filing the paperwork to have a beer garden (ticket only, 21+) in front of the Student Recreation Center overlooking the track. If we are successful, this will make the Music City Distance Carnival the only track meet in the U.S to have beer trackside.
USATF Club Challenge: For the first time, the Distance Carnival will include a team competition for USATF Clubs. Everyone loves team competitions, and the inaugural USATF Club Challenge will provide an opportunity for some of America’s best running clubs to wage battle using IAAF scoring tables with $1500 up for grabs.