Originally founded in the hills and hollows outside Nashville, TN, the Moonshine Runners Society runs under each month's full moon.
These runs started Summer 2015 after my family moved from inside city limits of Nashville to a rural subdivision near the rolling hills of Middle Tennessee. We sat in our new back yard one full moon night, and two things were quite different now that we were away from the city’s light pollution: (1) the vast number of stars we could see and (2) that the moonlight was bright enough to read a book in the dark without a flashlight.
Wanting to meet some of our new neighbors, I organized a group run for the next full moon, and 10 runners gathered to enjoy the night and soak up the moonshine. However, as more and more houses were built in our subdivision, new streetlights and house lights created more light pollution, dampening the full moon effect. Plus, temps dropped as seasons changed, and the group fizzled out.
Fast forward a few months to early 2016 when I located a rural country road 10 miles further out, farther away from light pollution, with very low traffic volume, and the full moon runs resumed in earnest.
As with any night run, we wear reflective clothing and headlamp, etc.…HOWEVER, here’s the fun part…we only turn on our headlamps so we can be seen by the rare oncoming car. THEN we turn them off again after the car passes so we can run under the original running light falling on the pastures and creeks.
Since we run through the hills and hollows of Tennessee under the full moon shine, the group was dubbed Moonshine Runners Society as a nod to that other spirit that runs through the hills and hollows of Tennessee. And on extra-special nights, perhaps that other spirit might make an appearance to toast the runners.
The experience is like no other running experience I’ve had. They’ve become my favorite runs each month. Runners of various skills and experience levels alike gather for a conversational run (typically 4–6 miles) at night under a full moon through all four seasons. The recreational, bring-your-dog and soak-up-the-moonshine runs also provide a welcoming group environment to contrast those often-solo training runs.
I should point out that we’re a more of society than a club since moonshine runners are also active members of the many great running clubs in the Nashville area. Clubs typically get together once or twice a week, but we meet one night a month when the moon is full. Membership is free and automatic, simply by attending a moonshine run.
Come along now, ye luna-tics.
Gregory Byerline, Founder
Interested in joining us?
Make sure to check out our page of past and upcoming events for more information and to RSVP.