Marathon du Medoc

The one with all the wine...

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29/03/2012 at 09:44


We found our B&B by looking on the web.  There are website that have listings - look for Gites de France, or Chambres d'Hote.

We did it all ourselves.  The first time, we drove all the way, the second time we flew to Bergerac and rented a car.  Both times we made a holiday of if and had a couple of weeks in France.

The route is mostly off road, Emmy, through vineyards.  They are mostly rough-ish tracks and dusty.

There are some stretches of road, but probably less than half is on road.

29/03/2012 at 09:52

Hi Bookie - Yes - the medical certificate is "standard" for all French races. I saw the course profile and nearly fainted... I'm not the best fan of hills... .but as you say- the wine should help

@Wilkie - thanks for the feedback. It's good to know what to expect... 

29/03/2012 at 10:07

*sigh*

This is making me want to do it again.....

29/03/2012 at 10:23

Come on... join us! I'm trying to work out the easiest way to get there (e.g. fly into bordeaux etc). The only thing that slightly worries me are the hills (and of course being outrageously drunk by the half way point..).

@Wilkie - how did you manage it? Did you drink at every one? or none at all?

29/03/2012 at 10:55

I don't recall hills.  It's a bit undulating, maybe, but that's all.

We had wine at every Chateau  

You tend only to have a little bit (although you can have as much as you want) .  Just because it's Chateau Mouton Rothschild doesn't mean they give you good wine....

And there is water available too!

In the later stages there are also food offerings - bits of steak, oysters (you get white wine with these), and ham.  Very welcome towards the end were grapes, and an ice-cream

Very much the easiest way around is to have a car.  Although you can get a train (I think) from Bordeaux to Paulliac, if you want to do any of the other things (pasta party, walk in the vinyards the next day) you will need some transport. 

29/03/2012 at 11:09

You mean.... that they'd honestly give us anything less than their finest vintage?!?  I'm not the best wine person.... so i'm not sure that i'd know the difference!

Thank you for the information about the hills - i'm getting a better impression of the race in general (especially about the hills and roads).

I think I just want to confirm my doctors certificate before registering and go from there.

@Bookie - have you made a decision yet?

29/03/2012 at 11:15
it's a great event to tick off....

the hills are really nothing to worry about - sure, they go up and down but they aren't difficult and if you're not going for a PB (why would you??) then walk them like many do. there is a cut-off for the finishing medal (6hrs I think?) but that's plenty of time in reality.

you won't get "outrageously drunk" as the wine is offered in small plastic cups and some of it, shall we say, is not premier cru... and the wine tasting places get pretty packed so it's nip in, get a drink (or 2) and move on to the next chateau. the 1st wine doesn't arrive until about 10km in. it's up to you if you want to taste at every stop and also bear in mind that in the last 10k you have the food tasting stops - and by this stage, you'll want to try them!

we travelled down by Eurostar/TGV - excellent way of getting to Bordeaux as it's pretty stressless (let the train take the strain) but we stayed in Bordeaux as part of a package which meant a 90min coach transfer each way on race day. if I was doing it again, I wouldn't a) take an organise package and b) I'd stay closer to Pauillac.

29/03/2012 at 12:11

Hi FB,

You're right - it's not for PB but more to know that i'll finish within the time limit. My concern is normally after running a few hours - if i have one beer - i'm normally a bit tipsy - hence my comment... I read somewhere that people are offended if you don't take their wine... (and i'd hate to be rude ).

When you say that you wouldnt take an organised package - was this one from the official website? or from a tourist site?

29/03/2012 at 12:26
I don't think anyone would know if you'd had a drink or not at a station - as I said, they're pretty packed and I know that many skip through hoping the next one isn't so bad. don't fret about being rude

a bunch of us went with 2:09 Events. the reason was that they could guarantee us entries (the event sells out quickly online) but it came with a hotel package in Bordeaux (we organised our own travel as we were coming from various parts of the UK at different times). frankly, they were sodding useless for many reasons and having just checked their website, they don't offer this event now (they have an alternative version - the Marathon du Vin in October)

I don't know about the packages being offered by the official organisers so can't comment on them
29/03/2012 at 12:28

I'd sign up now, but I want to talk it over with Cake first. I also have concerns as to whether or not I'd get a medical certificate. I've had problems with my knee and am definitely not marathon material because of it. That's one reason this appealed so much - the focus on the whole experience with wine, food, and fancy dress rather than just the running. I'm certain I could do it in the cut-off, but I'd need to convince a doctor to agree to it...

Another thought - do you have to pay for medical certificates? I've never needed one before.

29/03/2012 at 12:38
StB - most people forge the medcert - that's what we did. the French authorities are peculiar in that they ask anybody racing anything to provide a medcert as a matter of course, and frankly it's their getout if anything goes wrong. but the cert just goes into a big pile, aren't checked (how can they check them all??) and if you're happy to accept the very small risk of something happening, just make one up. the form is usually downloadable so get Cake to sign it...

just make sure you have appropriate medical insurance in place just in case as treatment in France beyond the standard EHIC (E111 as was) is expensive
29/03/2012 at 12:40

Hi Bookie, I was the same... i'm getting married in May and wanted to check that he was ok with it on a "monetary" basis. It works out that he was planning on a weekend away anyway... and he doesnt mind France so it's ok from that perspective. He wouldnt join me on the route though.

As for the medical certificate - you can call up the doctors surgery - pay £15 and bob's your uncle. Most of the time they don't even want to examine you (in my experience). I've got a heart condition, asthma, had issues with my legs and they signed me off without seeing me.

Note: This could have just been my doctors surgery....

29/03/2012 at 12:45

@Bookie - sorry - just seen this - the form is available to download on the website.

29/03/2012 at 15:41
Emmy_bug wrote (see)
As for the medical certificate - you can call up the doctors surgery - pay £15 and bob's your uncle. Most of the time they don't even want to examine you (in my experience). I've got a heart condition, asthma, had issues with my legs and they signed me off without seeing me.

Note: This could have just been my doctors surgery....


My doctor wanted me to have a full medical, ECG, etc., (privately, natch, at a cost of about £200) before he would sign anything.  I declined,
30/03/2012 at 20:47
Thanks Wilkie and fat budda for all of the great information
30/03/2012 at 23:39

Thanks for all of the tips and advice.  

Cake is up for it, I don't mind a bit of calligraphy and I think we can afford it

My plan is to ponder it over the weekend, and enter next week if it still seems like a good idea. I can't possibly run the distance, but a run/walk/stop at the chateaus plan seems workable

31/03/2012 at 19:32

I'm the same bookie - think about it tonight and then maybe sign up tomorrow for indepedent accommodation. My colleague's on holiday and isnt too keen about giving me the keys to his chateau (I can't see why not... i'm very trustworthy with 1000litres of wine )

04/04/2012 at 12:53

Hi everyone - just wanted to update you - i signed up! I'm just finalising my accommodation thanks to a french colleague who has ran it before so I just need to start my training plan.

04/04/2012 at 12:58

Good idea!

Start with a Paulliac, then try a St Julien, then....

04/04/2012 at 13:49
I did it in 2010 and it is awesome fun.  Any London Marathon du Medocers out there see here  London Marathon du Medocers
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