I’ve run races from Aspen to Rio de Janiero, but never had an experience like the Medoc Marathon. It’s kind of like the Bolder Boulder, but on steroids. And, you run through about twenty wineries while all dressed in costumes. This year the theme was superheroes, and there were some pretty awesome costumes.
I had some Japanese friends who extended the invitation and we all met in Paris. From there we took the high speed train to Bordeaux. The next morning we got up at 5:00 am to catch the one hour bus ride to Medoc. Fortunately, a cold front moved through the morning and it was overcast and cool. It stayed that way the entire day, which made it perfect for running.
The starting line was a big party, with flying superheroes and ten thousand people in costumes. I have to admit, however, that this was the part of the race I didn’t like. There were too many runners, all stopping to take photos that it took nearly ten minutes to get going. But then it got worse. The first chateau was about a mile from the start and everyone was anxious to start the wine tasting and it was a giant bottleneck. It was like LA traffic. People started running down the rows of grape vines in order to get through. I tried this as well but stuck behind some slow guy who wanted to walk and take pictures. Bottom line is that it took more than an hour to do the first three miles. It got only slightly better the next three miles and the wineries were so close to each other that it staked everyone up and you just couldn’t get around the people drinking.
Fortunately, things lightened up a bit after that and I could keep a steady pace. I did manage to make a few stops for some oysters and ice cream. They also had water bottles every half mile or so which made it really nice.
The best part for me was the scenery. It was breathtaking at times and the time passed quickly. Plus, there were all kinds of musical groups and cheering locals all along the way. I finished in about four and a half hours which I thought was pretty good considering a wasted almost an hour the first six miles.
When we finished I headed for the town shops, got myself a caramel crape and a bunch of cheese and chocolates. I pretty much gorged for an hour until I had to get on the bus to go back to Bordeaux.
All in all, a pretty fun time.