Do you know someone who has run a marathon? I do! Me and my friend Fredrik just finished our first marathon.
How is it possible to run that far? 42 195 meters. 42 kilometers. What makes you continue to run after the first 10 kilometers? Would it make it easier for you if someone would serve you a glass of wine every two kilometers? – Yes. It helps.
Medoc Marathon is organized once a year in Pauillac, a small French village located an hour north of Bordeaux. This marathon passes no less than 55 vineyards and, here’s the good part: 21 of them lets you taste their wines.
In addition to this, there is another important difference from other marathons. You should wear a costume. This year’s Medoc marathon had the theme – Once upon a time … old tales and legends.
The initial plan was that me and my sister would run together with our significant others, but then my sister got hurt in the leg while training, and my wife broke her cruciate ligament when we went skiing in March.
Suddenly it was only I who remained …
Fortunately my friend Fredrik took place as my wing man, and today we have run longer than any of us have done before.
We flew to Bordeaux yesterday. After having spent the night at Ibis Aeroport budget hotel we woke up at 06:00 when the alarm went off. At 06:45 we were seated on the bus to Pauillac where the race started.
We arrived at Pauillac at 08:15, and outside the bus the queue to the toilet was long …
When we had solved our toileting issues, we proceeded to the starting line.
I must say that the French have a beautiful view of how to start a marathon. At 09:15 – one quarter of an hour before the start of the race – loud music began playing from a big speaker system. At the same time a tightrope dancer started to perform an act above the start line. After that a whole bunch of acrobats appeared and showed their tricks.
At 09:30 sharp the French Air Force flew over the area in formation as the race started.
We set out slowly. It was crowded and no one was actually able to run at all for the first km. I was engaged in looking around and taking pictures. After about a kilometer the first wine tasting stand appeared of the local wine from Chateaux de grand-puy Decasse. That was nice.
After that we continued to further adventures. Sometimes it was a long run between the tastings. Sometimes they were no more than five hundred meters apart. Many of the stations also served snacks in the form of chips, crackers, orange wedges, bananas and more.
During the run we got to taste wine from no less than 21 vineyards. We made it a personal challenge to take a glass at every place where it was served.
What a lovely setting it was! I ran around all the time thinking “this is so beautiful” and “this is so beautiful.” Rows on rows of vines, and in the midst of all this, a vineyard, or rather a castle that grew out of the ground. Super Nice!
Another funny thing was all the people who were great costumes. This year there were many Pikachu, but we also met with Super Mario and his friends, the Smurfs, Snow White and the dwarfs, little elves, Gollum and Gandalf, crusaders, Alice in Wonderland and all other characters you can imagine.
I don’t understand how people were able to carry around some of the creations! There was a competition within the competition of costume, which allowed you to include a wagon in your costume. Imagine to push something in front of you for 42 km!
At the very back of the race was another wagon. This was “the string” as it is called in the context of the Swedish ski event Vasaloppet . The important thing was not to get behind this wagon, because when you did you had to leave the race.
So, how did we perform in the race? Well, up to the half marathon at 21 km, it was excellent. Then my friend Fredrik had a small dip which he never really recovered from. I was feeling quite strong up to 32 km, but then I became exhausted as well.
We clinged on and pretty soon we had reached the critical point, 39 km. At this stage of the race the madcap French suddenly started to serve food. At 39 km, they served oysters and sparkling wine. At subsequent stations, there were corn, cheese, grilled entrecote and ice cream. I can admit that from 39km and up no one was really running. At least not as far back in the race that we were.
After 6 hours, we reached the goal. We had passed our first marathon, and both Fredrik and I felt quite happy with ourselves.
We will return next year, but then we will probably try to find an accommodation either in Pauillac or in the center of Bordeaux. This was a fantastic race, a fantastic day with 27 degrees and sunshine and a fantastic effort from us who actually manage to run our first marathon!
A tribute also to the local people who went out to the streets to serve us wine, water and snacks. The arrangement was brilliant!