Running a marathon is one of those Marmite things; you’d either love to complete one or hate the thought of running a tiring 26 miles! But what if we told you that there is a marathon which combines this running with an abundance of wine, fresh from the vineyards! Although running while a little tipsy probably won’t win you any running records, the Marathon du Médoc is certainly a lot of fun and gives you the chance to sample some delicious fine wines and foods from the Médoc region.
The race takes place every September, with a route stretching through the scenic vineyards. Along the way, there are 23 stops, with spreads of local specialities such as oysters, cheese and ice cream, as well as a drop of wine or two from each vineyard and chateau. To encourage the marathon runners, local bands entertain along the route. If it is not already clear from the addition of wine and cheese, the marathon isn’t all too serious!
The night before the marathon is the famed pasta party, where each participant gorges on carbs and wine – perhaps not the best pre-marathon spread – but delicious nonetheless! This does set the mood for the race to come though, as it is more a merry affair than a serious sprint, with racers turning up in their wildest fancy dress for the marathon. This year, the theme for the race will be ‘amusement park’.
Kicking off the marathon is a show of some of the best fancy dressed runners on offer, as well as some exciting pre-race entertainment. The marathon begins at 9.30am, and with a six and a half hour time limit set to finish the marathon, and having regular breaks for wine and food, it isn’t too intense, for those who would rather a more leisurely run. Those who cross the finish line by 4pm will be awarded with a medal and some other goodies. If you haven’t had enough wine by this point, then the evening sees a wine tasting and dinner take place.
The day after the Marathon, if your legs haven’t stopped working yet, the pace is slowed down somewhat for a relaxing walk. Having run a marathon, you probably haven’t fully taken in all of the wonderful sights of the gorgeous vineyards and Chateaux, so the walk gives you a chance to discover the Médoc area properly. The walk comes to an end at Chateau Marquis de Terme, where a lunch will be enjoyed.
If you still think you’d much rather stay at home and enjoy a glass of wine without having to run a marathon, then why not celebrate your love of wine in a different way, by upgrading your wine rack to a wine cabinet!?