Marathon du Médoc, Bordeaux, France

Martians. Finishers.

Martians. Finishers.

When I heard about Marathon du Médoc, I could not wait to sign up. A 26.2-mile scenic course that winds through Bordeaux’s vineyards and past world-famous chateaux sounded spectacular. The wine and extravagant food (cheese, oysters, ice cream) along the course sounded…well, not like things I usually consume while running, but an interesting twist to the event.

Pre-marathon show

Pre-marathon show

The field is limited to 8,500 runners, so registration fills up pretty quickly. I registered on the first day (registration opens in early February) and convinced Angelo to run as well. He was less enthusiastic, but over the summer embraced a very tough training program and ended up having a good race.

This was some costume

This was some costume!

Glad I'm not pushing this!

Glad I’m not pushing this!

The course passes more than 50 châteaux. You don’t get a chance to take them all in, but it makes for nice scenery.

Any costumes went

Any costumes went

Did I mention everyone runs in costume? There’s a different theme each year. This year’s theme was science fiction, but many people showed up in any old costume.

Angelo at a wine stop

Angelo at a wine stop

I ended up stopping at only two wine tables, but I grabbed plenty of bananas and oranges along the way. There was an overabundance of food at every station: bread, fruit, chocolate, potato chips and toward the end cheese, oysters, beef and ice cream.

Check out the wine holder

Check out the wine holder

We ran through some tiny villages, where the townspeople did a great job of cheering us on.

An extravagant prop

An extravagant prop

I was disappointed to not get more photos, but I didn’t want to stop running and take my phone out of my pocket. Not only would that eat into my time, but it’s near-impossible for me to start running after a stop, especially in the later miles!

A sleek group

A sleek group

The course was relatively flat with only a couple of small hills. There was so much to see that the time – over four hours – passed pretty quickly.

A running group

A running group

In addition to the usual technical tee and medal, the swag included a bottle of wine.

We’re already planning on running it again!

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