Marathon du Medoc

The one with all the wine...

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06/09/2012 at 13:05

Hi Wilkie, I ended up running 10 miles last weekend around my local town. I only got a few comments and beeps but some runners burst out laughing so it wasnt too bad!

11/09/2012 at 10:56

OK. So how did everyone get on? Tude - I thought that I saw you but I wasnt sure.

Here's my race report.
Best wine? Les Tourelles de Longueville (Pauillac 2010).
Best tent? Steak/chips (KM40)
Best 'event'? The look your best before the end (KM 41)/

Medoc was out of this world;

The organisers have everything done to a fine art and I picked up my packet within 5 minutes. I wandered around the other marathons on offer and had a look at what else was on offer. It was mostly uninteresting but I was given some free haribo and the wine was already flowing – a great sign! This continued throughout the entire event – all of the food and drink stops were plentiful and organized.

The food stations were well packed and the wine was well flowing. You really couldn’t ask for much more. The entire marathon was like carnival in cologne. Everyone was in such a party mood – the vibe was honestly amazing and I’ve never felt anything like it.

What can I say about the run? It was mostly through the vineyard so there was a lot of dust tracks which played more with my asthma than I expected. It was great to actually run through some beautiful countryside and be part of such a great event. There were a few hills along the route but nothing especially taxing.

I started to struggle a little bit around mile 15 with cramps and stitches. Then by some good grace I came upon a Knight. A literal knight of course – this was fancy dress. It turned out that he was a fellow Marathon talker and we spent the rest of the race laughing, chatting away and trying to survive the 36’c heat. The best thing of all was this guy knew his wine and I got to know which were the best chateaus that we were visiting.

The km’s quickly slipped by and even though we were struggling the atmosphere and people we met along the way carried us through to the end. Mike’s (the Knight) his feet started to cause him some issues so we stopped and whilst he sorted out his feet – I used the time wisely (drinking and eating).

If I had to say one thing about this race is that it’s definitely not a PB course. It’s normally very hot and if you’re not used to it – it can be hard to handle, the dirt tracks can be difficult at times as well.  But on the other hand – it’s a unique course with a unique group of people running it. They are not PB’ers – they are all there for the same reason – to have fun and enjoy the area and we certainly did that!

After the race – we were escorted through the area with ease and I promptly found the food/drink tent. Everything was free so I enjoyed a beer and lots of water and waited for the final people to come through.

INFO:

Travelling is relatively easy. You can choose to stay in Bordeaux and join one of the buses on the morning/afternoon for a small fee. Very easy and no fuss. We chose to drive down from Brussels so it was 10 hours in total and relatively hassle free. Lots of people fly into bordeaux and hire a car.

Accommodation can be a tad difficult. I asked a french colleague to help and we found a great little bungalow 20 minutes from the start. It was great. If you drive/ hire a car - you can stay anywhere in the Pauillac area. I saw lots of people pitching tents outside of campsites and it didnt seem too much of an issue.

Entry: Entry opens in February and as long as you enter in a timely manner - it's easy to enter. Just make sure that you submit your medical form in a timely manner.

 

11/09/2012 at 18:56
Just found time to log on here. Don't think I saw you Emmy, but can't be sure - there were an awful lot of people in roman / gladiator outfits. My favourites were the Bradley Wigginses and one guy dressed in a full cardinal's outfit that looked really, really hot.
Atmosphere was just brilliant and loved it - would happily come back next year if I was allowed. Some issues for me though - staying in Bordeaux made for a great couple of evenings out, but the busses were a real mess. First time this year they'd tried it I think, and the public busses left 40mins late, then came back with one group of people's stuff and another set of people on board. We were with Tutti Quanti, and it was a lot better, but no air con on the bus, which was horrible, and they left at 5.30, which is when the party was just getting started.
So much about it was perfect though - scenery, generosity, organisation etc was just great.
We got a bit stuck at the start, which caused issues but after about 10km it started to open out and felt we could take a little more time. Always felt like I was playing catch-up though and was rushing to finish to get out of the heat.
Had some issues with the merry men - one had to stop at 27km and get his breath, then walked the rest of the way. We carried on and finished in just over 5 hours - but second half was way slower. Happy to walk some of it, and found people far more chatty as they slowed and the gaps got bigger.
My worst bit was not the dusty trails, but the beautiful gravel drives that seemed to sap energy as you walked.
Can't remember my favourite wine, it was all too hot, but I do remember one that made me gag (warm white near the ice cream lolly - had to have a glass of the rose and then the red there to take away the taste).
Went back after I'd finished to wait for my wife and had another there - think I ended up doing 44k in the end, but by then all pain had gone.
Fantastic event and I'd love to go again.
Thinking of running tomorrow...
11/09/2012 at 19:56
Hiya Tude, I saw the Bradley wiggins group at the start. They were fantastic. I thought the cannibal guys were in character a lot. In the first couple of km's it was a little full but I guess that I expected it.

I don't know about the bus that you took but I Met up with some ther gladiators at the end and they said that the business the morning was perfect with no issue. They left at 7am from their hotel in Bordeaux.

I remember what you mean about the gravel tracks - they were a bugger towards the end. I think you were talking about the white wine at the oysters? By the time I got there it was chilled nicely (or maybe that was my interpretation?). The one thing that I didn't like was the compote at one of the stops. That wasn't my best idea!

I went out for a recovery run the following day and my blisters are nearly all gone.

In review for there's that am read this in coming years my summary:
- book early and look around at b&b sites around pauillac
- arrive a few days earlier to adjust to the heat
- practice with the wine/ drinking and wear your outfit before hand - even if you look like a prat!
- enjoy it. Take photos. Be "part" of it. Don't rush - just absorb the da at your own pace and talk to people.
12/09/2012 at 12:56
Tour bus pick ups were fine from the hotels, but the public ones went from Place Quinconces - they were the ones that went wrong.
There was a further white wine - down by the ice cream lollies - that was the really warm one. (oyster wine was nice)
Think your tips are spot on - arrive a couple of days before hand if possible (and stay 'til Monday if you can), stay as near as possible unless you're desperate for the big city night life, but most important:
enjoy - it's not about a time!
12/09/2012 at 13:04

That could be it. I was "lucky" that I managed to stay in Hourtin.

Hmm... I missed a wine stop  I might need to go back and make sure I get that one!


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