Marathon Du Medoc 2015
Venue: Pauillac near to Bordeaux , Southern France
Date: 12th September 2015
Start time: 9am
13th September 2014, Southern France Bordeaux, Drink Wine and Run. This was the information that caught my eye when I signed up for the 30th Anniversary Race for Marathon Du Medoc. This race covers 21 chateaux of vineyards and winery. If this itself is not a draw, at the 38km mark you will be greeted with freshly shucked oysters and further down, the legendary Entrecote Beef! Free flow!
Joining a French race, one must actually go through a medical test and get your local doctor to certify that you are fit for a 42.195km grueling run before you can participate in the race. Cost of the race is about 120 Euro. This adds in the 10km walk on the second day, where you get to taste more wines and also have a recovery session. The lunch was also the highlight, comprising of a 3 course meal which features an appetizer, a main course of either beef or other meats, and a traditional dessert.
If you are here to get your personal best, then I suggest that you not waste your time. This race is meant to be enjoyed for fun, wine, food and dressing up. In fact, you will not be allowed to participate in the race if you are not fancifully dressed to the theme of the year! It was the only race I had been so far where there were no Compression wear, famous names like Addidas, Nike but a lot of crazy men in spandex, bikinis, a lot of leotards and color. Many of the attire were make shifts and some even get together to make a float and run together. Last year, the theme was Celebrations around the world, we saw a lot of feathers, sequins and masks!
Being a solo runner, I went up to the forum and managed to find a gang of 3 comprising of Americans and Australian. I was lucky to have found them as I did not drive and from Bordeaux to the race venue, Pauillac, is very far, as Singaporeans, we tend to forget the problem about distance as everything is so near and convenient.
We make our way to the start line. It was so pack that many have to park in the vineyards. We could already see many of the participants dressed up in their fancy dresses making their way to the start point. It is really great to see all the spontaneity.
This year there were more than 10 thousand participants making it one of the most subscribed years for the race. Besides the fun and glamour dressing up to the theme, I must say the highlight is being able to drink and run at the same time. Many of my friends were skeptical about my abilities to be able to drink and run a full marathon. But I guess spreading out the drinking portion in the race is good, so we basically drink and only get to drink again at another 5-8 km away, by then, due to the dry weather in France, all the alcohol would have been evaporated from the body. Besides their sample volume is very little and not the usual full glass, so unless you want to get drunk, most runners will be able to gauge their ability and continue the race till the end.
Besides drinking wine, the race also feeds you well with oysters at 38km mark, these are freshly shucked French oysters with Champagne to pair up. The best part is the oysters are unlimited! So as long as you can eat, they let you eat as many as you want. Further down the road, fresh Entrecote Beef was served towards the 40th km. Near the end of the race, there is even a makeup station to make sure you are well prepared for the ending photographs.
So as a finisher, you get a Finisher Medal, a set of beautiful Riedel Red Wine glasses and a bottle of the commemorative finisher wine. There is no finisher tee shirt, so if you intend to change up, do make sure you bring along your own toiletries, towel and also clothes for changing. They do provide sufficient good showering facilities ( with HOT water) for all participants! There is a finisher tent with unlimited flow of free beer, it can get really rowdy there. There were also many food provided at the end , but usually by then, you would have been quite full as there are really a lot of food along the way. I was eating more than running!
In conclusion, if you are a lover for wines, and have some money to spare, do give this marathon a try. I must say it is an experience not to be missed and also a rare opportunity to get to know the Wines of Bordeaux better.