The annual Marathon du Médoc is a 26.2-mile race held each September in Bordeaux, France. The event, though, is about much more than running. In fact, if you enjoy great food and wine, this may just be the sports event for you.
And it’s not just the spectators who get to enjoy tasting the 23 varieties of wine; the runners are expected to sample the local vintages as they run the race. The route passes through renowned estates such as Pauillac, St. Julien-Beychevelle and St. Estèphe, and past fifty other chateaux.
The route, which extends through vineyards, allows runners to make stops to sample cheese, ice cream, and oysters as they complete the marathon with dozens of music groups cheering them on. The race requires participants to submit a doctor’s authorization in order to take part in the roughly six-and-a-half hour run. Also, runners must dress for the occasion, in their favorite costume.
Runners shouldn’t feel pressured to break any records.” It’s not about getting a good time,” the race president, Vincent Fabre, says. “It’s about having a good time."
“Even after 30 years of success, the Medoc Marathon has retained its original spirit which is based on four fundamental and interrelated pillars for us: Health, Sport, Friendliness, and Festivity. A team of 90 runners- all of them volunteers, grouped into association (AMCM), aims to help the highest number of runners discover the benefit and enjoyment of distance running and in welcoming and rewarding the last runner same as the winner,” Fabre says.
The day after the race, participants gather for a ride to the vineyards of Margaux to relax after the effort of the day before. Chateaux like Palmer, Rauzan- Segla, Cantenac -Brown, Brane -Cantenac, Angludet, and Kirwan and Desmarais, among others host wine tastings for runners to mingle and unwind.
The Marathon du Médoc costs $102 and is limited to 8,500 participants. Participants must be 21, and though this year’s race is all booked, you can sign up for next year. You can also just attend the race and enjoy your own wine from the sidelines.